Turkish opposition called to Iraq

Dec. 6, 2012 at 11:56 AM

ANKARA, Turkey, Dec. 6 (UPI) -- A leader from Turkey's main opposition party called on his counterparts in Ankara to ensure diplomatic efforts with Iraq are inclusive.

Faruk Logoglu, deputy chairman of the opposition Republican People's Party, said his colleagues were concerned about tensions between the Turkish and Iraqi governments.

Baghdad expressed frustration with Ankara after fugitive Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi fled to Turkey after being accused of operating a death squad in Iraq by the country's prime minister. Since then, Logoglu said the Turkish government has appeared to favor the Kurdish government in Erbil.

"We want both sides, Ankara and Baghdad, to be determined to improve the relations," he told Turkish daily newspaper Today's Zaman as saying. "But here the responsibility falls on Ankara mostly."

Skirmishes erupted between Kurdish and Iraqi forces in and around Kirkuk province and the so-called disputed territories, an area demarcated by a line from Sinjar in the northeast to Khanaqin near the Iranian border. Last month, the Turkish prime minister said he was concerned about security in Iraq, saying the central government there was "deeply in trouble."

Logoglu said Baghdad extended an invitation to his party to discuss the situation with Iraqi leaders. "But the dates of the visit are not clear yet," he told the Turkish newspaper.

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