President Barham Salih: The Region is Undergoing Major Transformations and Iraq Looks Forward to Strategic Partnership and Cooperation with Neighboring Turkey


President Barham Salih emphasized in a joint press conference with his Turkish counterpart on Thursday, January 3, 2019, after an extended session of talks that his “visit to Turkey as President of the Republic of Iraq bears a clear and explicit message that Iraq is on the verge of a new page of reconstruction and empowerment of its institutions to play an influential role in the region."
His Excellency said, "our message to neighboring Turkey is a message of friendship, cooperation and a message of common interest in various fields.”
"Iraq is looking forward to a strategic partnership and cooperation with Turkey, notably at this historic moment as the region is undergoing major transformations," the President asserted.
President Salih stressed, "the region must enjoy stability and peace, and invest its resources for building, reconstruction, serving its citizens and to give its people a dignified life."
"We do not need trusteeship and guardianship from abroad as peoples of this region and their leaders can cooperate and work together to end the state of conflict and rivalry in a manner that serves their interests," His Excellency added.
President Barham Salih indicated, "we will act quickly to establish the Strategic Cooperation Council and that Iraq and Turkey need a comprehensive agreement to tackle common issues, particularly the issue of water, which should be ended in order not to remain a problem that disturbs the leadership in the two countries, welcome to President Erdogan's proposal to appoint a delegate to solve this problem radically.”
His Excellency explained that he had met with Prime Minister Dr. Adel Abdul-Mahdi before his departure for Ankara, who asked us to convey his wished to President Erdogan and the Turkish leadership, and a stress on the importance of the relation between the two countries.
"We will work to hold a meeting of the Joint Iraqi-Turkish Economic Committee in Baghdad as soon as possible and look forward to an active Turkish role for the reconstruction of the liberated areas and a cooperation in the area of military and defense industries for the purpose of building the common security system," President Salih said.
His Excellency emphasized, "we have discussed a number of regional issues and the situation in Syria and we have stressed on the importance of ending the conflict there and enabling the Syrians to make their own independent decision," referring to "the role of the two countries, in cooperation with other neighboring countries, in ending this conflict and attaining stability and peace in Syria.”
For his part, the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Turkey has provided full support to Iraq in combating terrorism and achieving security and stability in it, stressing that his country is ready to exert efforts to rebuild Iraq anew in all fields.
The Iraqi and Turkish delegations had held a joint session of talks under the chairmanship of President Barham Salih and the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the presence of Mr. Mohammed al-Hakim the Foreign Minister, Mr. Mohammad Hashem Abdul Majeed the Minister of Trade, Mr. Jamal al-Adli the Minister of Water Resources and Mr. Faleh al-Fayadh the National Security Adviser in addition to a number of officials and advisers from the Iraqi side. The Turkish side in the talks included Mr. Mouloud Javaisoglu the Turkish Foreign Minister, Mr. Fatih Donmaz the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Mr. Bakr Dumerli Minister of Agriculture and Forestry and Mr. Rohasar Bekjan the Minister of Trade.
During the session of talks, they discussed a number of issues of common interest between the two countries to enhance trade and economic relations between Iraq and Turkey and expand the horizons of joint cooperation in a way that ensures the interests of the two friendly peoples.
The two sides have agreed that Iraq and Turkey will be an economic link between Europe and the Gulf. They also underscored the importance of the contribution of Turkish companies to investment projects throughout the country and their participation in the rehabilitation of the liberated cities.
The two sides also touched on the two dossiers of energy and transport as well as the rehabilitation of the electrical system in Iraq, the need to open a new border crossing to simplify trade and economic procedures, and facilitate the affairs of the Iraqi community residing in Turkey in addition to tourism movement.


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