Iraq to Turkey: Troops must leave immediately, respect Iraq’s sovereignty

Published December 13th, 2015 - 08:01 GMT

The three branches of the Iraqi government have stressed that the Arab country has a right to resort to all legitimate means to defend territorial integrity and sovereignty against neighboring Turkey.

The announcement was made in a joint statement issued following an urgent meeting held in the capital Baghdad on Saturday by Iraqi President Fuad Masum, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, Parliament Speaker Salim al-Jabouri and senior leaders of parties and political factions.

The signatories of the statement also rejected silence on the Turkish violation and expressed support for the Iraqi army and security forces in their efforts to defend the country against any foreign aggression.

According to the statement, any "counter-terror assistance" from any foreign country must first be received upon a formal request made by the Iraqi central government and lent only with its approval and consent.

Meanwhile, the Representative of the Secretary General of the UN Jan Kubis said at a meeting with Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari that the UN considered what had been done by Turkey as a violation of sovereignty.

In a separate statement issued on Friday, the Iraqi premier also reiterated his strong condemnation of Turkey’s deployment of troops to northern Iraq, saying Baghdad does not consider it as an "anti-terror" move but as a flagrant violation of the Arab country’s sovereignty.

He also ordered the foreign ministry to lodge a formal complaint with the UN Security Council “to order Turkey to withdraw its troops immediately.”

Thousands of Iraqis filled the streets of Baghdad on Saturday to slam the deployment. On Friday, similar protests were also held across the country.
On December 4, the Turkish military deployed hundreds of troops as well as heavy weaponry to the camp of Bashiqa near the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, which has been under the control of the international extremist group, Daesh, since June 2014.
Ankara claims that its troops have been deployed in northern Iraq to train Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga fighters against Daesh.
Editor's note: This article has been edited from the source material

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