will take all the necessary steps to ensure peace in the region, Daily sabah
quoted President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as saying on Wednesday.
Speaking after talks with Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi, Erdogan said that Turkey has never changed its stance on Iraq and developments in the country.
"From the beginning we have always expressed that we supported territorial integrity in Iraq, and we will continue [to do so]... We did not get a positive response to warnings [regarding the KRG independence referendum], so we decided to impose sanctions," Erdogan said.
Erdogan also praised the Iraqi central government for almost driving ISIS completely out of the country despite early blows dealt by the terrorist group, adding that another terrorist group – the PKK – knows this is an opportunity for them.
"We know of the PKK's presence in areas such as Sinjar and Qandil. Turkey is in for the fight against this group in solidarity with Iraq," the president said.
He expressed belief that Iraq "will rise from its ashes," ensuring Abadi that Turkey will provide the support Iraq needs.
Erdogan added that Turkey was ready to act to ensure regional stability and prosperity.
"We, unfortunately, are a part of a troublesome geography. It is now the time to overcome these troubles. We will take the necessary steps for achieving peace in the region," Erdogan said.
Meanwhile, Abadi said that the parties discussed a project that could possibly help stabilization in the region.
"We care about the continuity of bilateral relations [between Iraq and Turkey]. We do not want any country to intervene in our personal interests. We must be a source of hope for our young people. We have to win over our young people, who make up 60 percent of our region, by offering job opportunities to them," Abadi said.
Abadi also met with Prime Minister Binali Yildirim at the Cankaya Prime Ministerial Office later in the day. In a joint press conference, Yildirim said that the common aim is to work to prevent terror groups from arising in territories of Turkey, Iraq and Syria.
Yildirim said that Turkey will provide necessary aid to central Iraqi government to regain the control of Habur border gate, the main passage between Turkey and Iraq currently controlled by the KRG.
"We desire to work more closer with Iraq from now on to increase mutual investment, with trade volume being in the first place, and to reconstruct and increase the welfare of the both countries," Y?ld?r?m said, noting that the two leaders have agreed to hold a joint cabinet meeting in Turkey.
On Sept. 25, the KRG voted on whether or not to declare independence from the Iraqi state. Almost 93 percent of those who cast ballots voted in favor of independence.
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