In an increasingly volatile Middle East, any specific relationship depending on mutual attention as well as a good neighbourhood is effective and important for the regional actors. Turkey’s deepening relationships with its southern neighbour, Iraq, properly corresponds to this reality.
However, the history of Turkish-Iraqi ties has had its good and bad, a current trend in bilateral relations portrays a two-way will to further enrich political conversation and cooperation in various fields.
Turkey accepts Iraq as one of the key associates whose stability and protection are crucial for harmony in the Middle East. A robust and stable Iraq will remain to serve as a balancing power in the region, will assist eradicate terrorist groups and will have a stabilizing factor in the international hydrocarbon markets.
Additionally, the triumph over ISIL has paved the way for the normalization of the oil-rich country with global efforts to enhance the reconstruction of the country. For its part, Turkey announced $5 billion in credit and $50 million in projects-based guidance vow at the Kuwait Conference for the Reconstruction of Iraq.
Çavuşoğlu and Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohammed Ali el-Hekim announced developments in the bilateral ties at the press conference. The battle against the PKK is one of their preferences. Clearing all the Iraqi territories of all sorts of terror firms, including ISIL and the PKK, is one among the top issues, Çavuşoğlu said, suggesting solutions to jointly fight against the PKK.
In a sign to further enrich ties, the Iraqi government had given permission to Turkey to reopen general consulates in Mosul and Basra, and also to launch a consulate in Najaf. Çavuşoğlu said Kırkuk is also in the pipeline.
Turkey regards Iraq and Russia as two major oil suppliers to replace Iranian crude oil, but existing pipelines with the former demand renovation. Its ability needs to be enhanced, too. That’s why energy co-operation will certainly consist of a major avenue for a bilateral agenda with Iraq in the coming period.
All these reveal the making of a promising regional collaboration between Turkey and Iraq whose impression will certainly be beyond these two nations.