Erdogan Warns Maliki over Future Status of Kirkuk

The fight against Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) terrorism and the status of Kirkuk were two main issues discussed during Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's visit to Turkey.

Erdogan Warns Maliki over Future Status of Kirkuk

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told his counterpart Maliki that the domination of a certain ethnic group in the administration of Kirkuk will endanger the stability of the country.

Erdogan, who also drew attention to the issue of eliminating the PKK presence in Iraq, pressed for immediate implementation of decisions mutually agreed upon.

Maliki sought to reassure Erdogan that Iraq was determined to stop attacks in Turkey by militants coming from Iraqi soil and announced that new security measures are being considered to eliminate security risks threatening their neighbor countries.

With regard to the Kirkuk issue, Erdogan noted that attempts to hand over Kirkuk's administration to a specific ethnic group on the basis of a referendum would not be beneficial and would cause troubles, urging others to reach an agreement that would encompass all ethnic and religious groups in Kirkuk.

The "Kurdistan Regional Administration" in northern Iraq insists that Kirkuk will be a Kurdish city to be administered by their regional government.

Prime Minister Erdogan also stressed the need to end the PKK presence in Iraq, saying: "We have reviewed the measures to be taken against the terrorist organization. The territorial integrity of Iraq is vital to us as well as to the Iraqi people. Iraq's territorial and political integrity is indispensable and inevitable."

The progress the Iraqi administration would make in those fields would also increase the Turkish support to Iraq, Erdogan added. He also repeated Turkey's readiness to train the Iraqi military personnel and police.

Kirkuk will remain an Iraqi city

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, assuring they would not allow PKK offices to reopen in Iraq, noted they would not allow the operation of "chauvinist" organizations in their country.

At the press conference held after their talks, Maliki, in relation to the city of Kirkuk, said that in principle Kirkuk was and would remain an Iraqi city.

Asked about foreign intervention in Iraqi internal affairs, Maliki expressed deep distress over the attempt of certain countries to seek a base in Iraq to resolve some regional problems.

Recalling that Turkey had not made such attempts, Maliki said Ankara had made positive contributions by ensuring opponent participation in the political process.

No response to the question of Al-Jazeera correspondent

Erdogan, who noted at the beginning that he would give statements to two Turkish and two Iraqi correspondents, also allowed Yusuf al-Sharif, Ankara representative of Al-Jazeera TV, to direct a question.

Al-Sharif asked his question; however, Maliki refused to answer it in an attempt to protest Al-Jazeera for its alleged support of terrorism.

Al-Sharif responded to the accusation, noting that despite their absence in Iraq for the last two years, terrorism was still prevalent.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16