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Turkey, Iraq normalizes ties after Ankara changes perspective
From:chinadaily  |  2017-01-10 10:46

Turkey's Prime Minister Binali Yildirim meets with his Iraqi counterpart Haider al-Abadi in Baghdad, Iraq, January 7, 2017. [Photo/Agencies]

ANKARA -- Normalization of Turkish-Iraqi ties comes after a change of perspective of Ankara in a bid to restore its bilateral relations in the region, local experts said.The dynamic of the normalization was interrupted when Turkey sent troops to Bashiqa military camp in northern Iraq and deployed additional troops along Turkish-Iraqi border, Bilgay Duman, Middle East expert at Center For Middle Eastern Strategic Studies (ORSAM), told Xinhua.At the weekend, the visiting Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim and his Iraqi counterpart Haider al-Abadi co-chaired the third meeting of the High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council in Baghdad with the participation of a number of ministers from both sides, including the energy, economy, trade, foreign, defense and transport ministers.The visit is seen as a new beginning in ties between the two neighbors following months of crisis over Turkey's military camp in Bashiqa region of Mosul, which purportedly aimed to train local Sunni groups in the fight against the Islamic State (IS).A recent ceasefire deal in Syria that Russia and Turkey, along with Iran, brokered also eased normalization between Ankara and Baghdad, the expert said, recalling one of the differences of two countries were on Syria.Turkey and Iraq were on different sides, as the Iraqi administration, acting with Iran and Russia, has lend support to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, while Turkey insisted al-Assad to step down and supported Syrian rebels since the crisis erupted in 2011, he said.The issue of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) has become a serious issue for Iraq as well, threatening sovereignty of the country since the group advanced from Qandil Mountain and Sinjar region to the outskirts of Kirkuk, Duman said.As the PKK began to harm Iraq's sovereignty, Ankara and Baghdad have another reason to cooperate, he added.Duman said Turkey has intensified its efforts in struggle against the IS group, a joint threat for both countries.