TURKISH PM TO VISIT IRAQ

BAGHDAD, The forthcoming visit by Prime Minister Binali Yildirim to Iraq will be the first for a high-profile Turkish official following the tension between the two countries that could have led to a conflict at the backdrop of the Turkish military intervention in Bashiqa camp near Mosul in northern Iraq.

The visit was coordinated by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi during a previous phone conversation.

Erdogan offered help to Iraq in the campaign to free Mosul for the so-called Daesh terror group.

The step is part of a new Ankara policy to support the Iraqi government which in turn would lead to better security for Turkey and the entire region.

Addressing a meeting for the Justice and Development Party (AKP) on Tuesday, Yildirim said that security in Turkey would not be realized unless there were powerful authorities in Iraq and Syria.

The same day, Al-Abadi said that the respect of Iraq's sovereignty will top the agenda of Yildirim's visit, besides boosting bilateral relations.

Analysts expect that the withdrawal of the Turkish troops from the Bashiqa will find a rapid solution during the Turkish-Iraqi talks.

Both sides are serious about removing the causes of tension between the two countries, including the Turkish military presence in Iraq, Abdullah Aliwai, advisor to the Iraqi President told KUNA.

Baghdad has received several positive signals on the shift of Turkey's stance, he added.

It seems optimism over Yildirim's has been echoed among Iraqi some political observers.

Analayst Watheq Al-Hashmi expects the Turkish Premier would announce during the Baghdad visit the withdrawal of his county's troops from Bashiqa.

The Turkish stance has changed according to new findings that are related not only to Iraq but to the Middle East at large, after Ankara received the green light from Russia to have a free hand in Syria.

Yildirim has promised Al-Abadi in a phone call last month that the Turkish troops would withdraw from Bashiqa after the Mosul liberation campaign ends, said Iraqi Turkman MP Arshad Al-Salehi.

One believes they will withdraw before the end of the Mosul operation after the Iraqi government committed itself to expel the fighters of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) from Sinjar Nineveh Governorate in northern Iraq.

PKK, labelled by Ankara as a terrorist organization, gained a foothold in Sinjar after the Kurdish Peshmerga ousted the IS militants from the city.

For MP Hanan Al-Fatlaw, head of the Irada (Will) Movement, the criteria to judge the visit successful or not will be Ankara's seriousness on declaring withdrawal from Bashiqa.

If Yildirim's visit is for an immediate and final withdrawal of the Turkish troops from Bashiqa, he is welcome, Al-Fatlaw, a member in the Iraqi Parliament's committee on external affairs.

However, the visit should not only be confined to the military side.

The talks will address the bilateral economic ties, trade exchange, and bolstering investments, MP Al-Salehi said.

In addition, the two countries are in dire need for intelligence coordination in the fight against the Daesh, he said.

Iraq and Turkey are now the target of a fierce attack by the Daesh, a challenge they will have to closely cooperate to defeat, he added.

No doubt the humanitarian issue will also be given attention, in light of the support the humanitarian and relief aid offered by the Turkish Red Crescent Society to the Iraqi refugees and displaced.

MP from the Union of Iraqi Forces Thafer Al-Ani referred to hopes that the Iraqi Turkish relations would usher in a new phase of openness and dialogue to solve the suspended problems between the two countries.

These recent developments, to be reflected upon during the visit, are the outcome of hard and sincere efforts by Iraqi and Turkish officials that believed in the inevitability of cooperation at the critical stage the region is going through, to defeat terrorism.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK