World Bulletin / News Desk
As enmity grows between Turkey and Iraq over a wide range of issues, the Turkish prime minister has reportedly sent an official invitation to Ankara to his Iraqi counterpart in a bid to defuse the tension.
In a surprise move, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan invited Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to Turkey to find solutions to halt the increasing animosity in relations between the two countries, which have deteriorated since the withdrawal of US troops at the end of the last year.
Turkey's hosting of Iraq's fugitive Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi, who was sentenced to death earlier this month in a terror trial on charges of running death squads, is the chief factor that has torn Ankara and Baghdad apart. Among other factors that deepened tensions between Turkey and Iraq is Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu's controversial visit to Kirkuk.
Last month, Iraq said Turkey had violated Iraqi sovereignty by sending the Turkish foreign minister without official permission by the central government to visit Kirkuk, a city at the heart of a dispute between Baghdad and the country's autonomous Kurdistan region.
Agence France-Presse reported that an Iraqi official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the Turkish prime minister "sent an official invitation” to Maliki a few days ago to visit Ankara. "It is not certain whether he will accept," the official said.
Iraq is Turkey's second biggest export market after Germany, with trade volume reaching nearly $12 billion in 2011, a point Turkey's economy minister emphasized during a visit to northern Iraq early this year.
Maliki and Erdoğan have publicly traded insults several times this year as relations have soured.
Both prime ministers have engaged in tit-for-tat accusations over the past months. Erdoğan accused Maliki of amassing his power in Baghdad at expense of other political groups in the country. Erdoğan also several times blasted his counterpart for hounding political opponents and fomenting sectarian tension in the politically fragile country.
In return Maliki has vehemently criticized the Turkish prime minister for meddling in Iraq's internal affairs.
Some security personnel also injured in clash with PKK terrorists
2017 'very symbolic' year as it marks 25th anniversary of diplomatic ties, says Ukraine's ambassador to Ankara
BIST 100 index falls 0.11 percent while US dollar/Turkish lira rate stands at 3.55
Foreign Ministry says Ankara is 'strongly determined' to maintain close cooperation with African countries
Newly-launched OrmaTurk company will produce domestically-produced geothermal turbines
Media reports claiming otherwise 'do not reflect the truth', Economy Ministry says
Cavusoglu says he was not yet born when Turkey's EU process began nearly 60 years ago
Turkish, Iranian leaders speak over the phone and vow to improve bilateral ties
Two men arrested in Malaysia earlier this month are remanded; third suspect released under judicial restrictions
Turkish president predicts by 2035 Turkey's population will top 90M and it will join world's richest countries
Pair discuss facilities, services provided to refugees in Turkey
Property sales see a yearly increase of 7.6 percent in the month, according to official data
100 held in capital Ankara, including 21 former personnel of education and development ministries
BIST 100 index rises to over 97,700 points; Turkish lira goes down against US dollar
Houthi fighters allegedly attack convoy of UN envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed in Yemen
Injuries sustained when handmade explosives detonated by terrorists