Iraqi Defense Minister visits Ankara

Iraqi Defense Minister visits Ankara
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Amidst tensions following airstrikes, Iraq and Turkey explore bilateral security and cooperation paths.

As the ripples of regional tensions course through the Middle East, an essential dialogue is poised to commence. Iraqi Defense Minister Thabit Mohammed Abbasi is set to meet with his Turkish counterpart, Yasar Guler, in Ankara this Thursday. As reported by Anadolu Agency, this critical juncture comes at the heels of heightened tensions following Turkey's airstrikes in the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) territory.

Abbasi, visiting upon the official invitation of Minister Guler, is expected to receive a formal welcome replete with a military ceremony at the Ministry of National Defense. With significant regional implications, the meeting is anticipated to venture into discussions encompassing bilateral and regional defense, security, and defense industry cooperation issues.

The region's geopolitics turned a fraught corner on October 1 when Turkey launched airstrikes against the PKK in the KRG, asserting retaliation to a bomb attack in Ankara. These military actions were condemned by Iraq, instigating a nuanced diplomatic dance aimed at negotiating the labyrinth of security and sovereignty issues interwoven in the complex regional fabric.

Iraqi President Abdullatif Rashid's statement following the airstrikes underscores Baghdad's intention and hope to carve a path of concord with Ankara. The occasional Turkish airstrikes targeting the PKK in the KRG have historically been a source of contention, straining relations between the Iraqi central government, the KRG, and Turkey.

In an interview with Al-Arabiya and Al-Hadath, President Rashid accentuated Baghdad's ongoing efforts to formalize a security agreement with Ankara. A cornerstone of this envisioned accord underscores the imperative of respecting Iraq's sovereignty. The Iraqi President was explicit in his assertion, calling on Turkey to be cautious and considerate of the prevailing Iraqi circumstances.

Rashid highlighted the collateral civilian casualties resulting from Turkey's daytime violations in the Kurdistan region, voicing Baghdad's staunch opposition to these actions. The call for an agreement mirrors Iraq's overtures to Iran, underscoring a comprehensive approach to regional security and cooperation.

The Iraqi President expressed vehement rejection of Turkey's recurrent violations in Sulaymaniyah, Erbil, Dohuk, and other areas within the Kurdistan region. In the intricate dance of regional geopolitics, although steeped in complexities, the path to a solution opens avenues for dialogue and mutual respect.