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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to visit Iraq by year's end

By
Daniel Uria
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu (L) speaks during a press conference with his Iraqi counterpart Mohamed Ali Alhakim at the Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Baghdad, Iraq, on Sunday. Cavusoglu said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will visit Iraq by the end of the year and Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi will also visit Turkey. Photo by Ahmed Jalil/EPA
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu (L) speaks during a press conference with his Iraqi counterpart Mohamed Ali Alhakim at the Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Baghdad, Iraq, on Sunday. Cavusoglu said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will visit Iraq by the end of the year and Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi will also visit Turkey. Photo by Ahmed Jalil/EPA

April 28 (UPI) -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will visit Iraq by the end of the year, Turkey's foreign minister said Sunday.

Melvut Cavusoglu made the announcement during a joint news conference with Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohamed Ali al-Hakim in Baghdad, Turkey's state-run Anadolu Agency reported.

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"President Erdogan will visit Iraq to hold the 4th High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council meeting toward the end of this year," Cavusoglu said.

During their meetings, Cavusoglu and Hakim said they discussed bilateral relations and exchanged views on regional issues, adding their views on the subjects overlapped.

"We have discussed with the Turkish side in detail an array of issues concerning Iraq and Turkey, including the war on terror and the presence of terrorist groups on the Iraqi-Turkish border," said Hakim.

Cavusoglu added that Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi will also visit Turkey, and that Turkish and Iraqi officials agreed to reopen Turkish consulates in the Iraqi cities of Mosul and Basra, which were closed due to threats from the Islamic State.

He stressed the importance that Iraq and Turkey work together to eliminate the Islamic State as well as the Kurdistan Workers' Party, which the government deems a terrorist group.

"We encourage Iraq to be a hub between Europe, Asia and the Gulf countries. For this, we want to open up another border gate and build railways and highways in the country. We need to work together of these infrastructure investments," he said.

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