Turkish official's visit upsets Iraq

Aug. 2, 2012 at 4:28 PM

KIRKUK, Iraq, Aug. 2 (UPI) -- Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu visited northern Iraq Thursday, prompting outrage from the Iraqi government, which said it was not informed.

Davutoglu is the first Turkish foreign minister to visit the oil-rich city of Kirkuk in 75 years, Today's Zaman reported.

"This is the most important day of my life. I am visiting Kirkuk, which was always in my dreams. I am happy to be the first Turkish foreign minister to visit Kirkuk in 75 years. Kirkuk will be an eternal city of peace in Iraq where our Turkmen, Kurdish and Arab brothers live together," Davutoglu said upon his arrival in the city.

The Iraqi government, however, said it was not informed of Davutoglu's trip and that it did not approve.

"All of that was done without the knowledge or approval of the Foreign Ministry and without going through the official and diplomatic channels to organize this visit," a statement on the Iraqi Foreign Ministry's Web site said. "It is not in the interest of Turkey or any other party to underestimate national sovereignty or violate the rules of international relations and not comply with the most basic regulations in the relations of states and officials."

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