Abadi pledges Iraq support for Turkey against U.S. sanctions

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Baghdad ( – Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has voiced Iraq’s support for Turkey in its current crisis with the U.S., stressing that Iraqi territory will never be used for launching attacks against Turkey.

Speaking at a joint press conference with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Abadi said that the Iraqi government “rejects the launch of any assault towards Turkey from inside the Iraqi territory,” adding that Iraq will continue to stand by Turkey in its efforts to control borders.

Abadi further noted that his talks with Erdogan “tackled means of boosting bilateral relations in the fields of water, security, agriculture, electricity and border ports.”

Speaking about the crisis of water scarcity in Iraq, Abadi revealed a promise by the Turkish president to “provide Iraq with its complete share of water.”

Abadi, at the end of his remarks, welcomed a Turkish request to reopen consulates in Basra and Mosul, saying that this move will help boost bilateral relations.

Turkey closed its consulate in Mosul four years ago, after it was seized and its employees held hostage by the Islamic State. The hostages were freed in September 2014 after a three-month ordeal.

Turkey evacuated the Basra consulate also in 2014 for security reasons.

Abadi started earlier in the day an official visit to Ankara. The visit comes amid a bitter row between Erdogan and his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump. The United States imposed punitive sanctions on Turkey as part of an ongoing rift over the detention of an American pastor.

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