Erdogan invites Iraqi PM to Turkey amid tensions

Erdogan invites Iraqi PM to Turkey amid tensions
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Prime Minister Al-Sudani promised to accept Erdogan’s official invitation as soon as possible, Iraqi Foreign Ministry said in a statement, according to Al Mayadeen TV

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has sent an official invitation to Iraq’s Prime Minister Muhammad Shia Al-Sudani to visit Ankara, amid tensions between the two administrations over Turkey’s military attacks on Iraqi territory.

Ali Riza Guney, the Turkish ambassador to Baghdad handed the invite to Al-Sudani, Lebanon-based Al Mayadeen TV channel reported on Thursday, citing a statement by Iraq’s Foreign Ministry.

"The ambassador handed the prime minister a written letter that included an official invitation from Erdogan to visit Turkey, and Al-Sudani promised to accept it as soon as possible," the statement said.

The tensions between Ankara and Baghdad recently escalated after Turkish military has launched an aerial offensive into Northern Iraq last month to combat Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) which is designated as terrorist organization by Turkey.

The Iraqi government led by Al-Sudani denounced the operation as a “violation” of Iraq’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and decided to act in cooperation with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to “unify the national effort to protect the Iraqi borders” against Turkish attacks.

During the meeting, Al-Sudani and Turkish envoy Guney discussed bilateral economic relations and the formation of a joint committee to coordinate the stages of a dry canal project, Iraqi Foreign Ministry said.

The two officials also discussed "procedures to facilitate the granting of entry visas to Turkish investors and technicians working in Iraq," it said, according to Al Mayadeen.

In the letter handed to Al-Sudani, Erdogan expressed his will to resume meetings of the Iraqi-Turkish Strategic Cooperation Council, it said.