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02 March 2024

Iraq summons Turkish envoy over crisis remarks

By Reuters

Iraq on Monday summoned Turkey's ambassador to complain over comments from Turkish officials about a political crisis in Prime Minister Nuri Al Maliki's government, Iraq's foreign ministry said.

The Iraqi complaint appeared to refer to comments by Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, who earlier this month warned Iraq's neighbours not to stoke sectarian tensions in Iraq, which he said could engulf the entire Islamic world, and said Iraq faced a "historical" responsibility.

Ties between Baghdad and Ankara have been strained by Turkey's position on the Iraq  government's move to arrest Vice President Tareq Al Hashemi, a measure that has triggered political turmoil that risks stirring more sectarian tensions.

Turkey has attempted to play a moderating role.

Iraq's Deputy Foreign Minister Muhammed Jawad Al Dooreki summoned the Turkish ambassador in Baghdad, urging his government to consider the "necessity of avoiding anything that might disturb" good relations.

"The Turkish ambassador gave assurances that Turkish officials' statements were in good faith and he will inform his government in Ankara of the Iraqi position," the foreign ministry statement said.