situation report

May 16, 2019 | 16:29 GMT

2 mins read

Iraq, Turkey: Iraqi Prime Minister Visits Ankara to Meet Erdogan

What Happened: Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi has visited Ankara to meet Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and discuss shared security concerns, including border security and regional stability in northern Iraq, Rudaw and Hurriyet reported May 15. Turkish officials said the talks touched on joint counterterrorism efforts, deepening trade and energy ties, and Iraqi reconstruction.

Why It Matters: Ties between Turkey and Iraq have been steadily improving after Baghdad's efforts to reset the relationship, just after Abdul-Mahdi was appointed in October 2018. Abdul-Mahdi's visit comes after several high-profile diplomatic trips between Turkish and Iraqi officials, including Iraqi President Barham Salih's meeting with Erdogan in January.

Background: Turkey is seeking to open consulates in Mosul, Najaf, Kirkuk and Basra to increase its diplomatic representation in Iraq after the Islamic State invasion in 2014 significantly damaged Iraqi stability and ties between Ankara and Baghdad. The countries frequently disagree on border security, water sharing and Turkey's military operations against the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in northern Iraq.

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