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Iran Press TV

Iraqi President Salih calls on Turkey to stop cross-border incursions, respect sovereignty

Iran Press TV

Thursday, 27 August 2020 1:59 PM

Iraqi President Barham Salih has called on Turkey to stop its ongoing operation in the country's semi-autonomous Kurdistan region against hideouts of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) militant group, saying the cross-border offensive is violating Iraq's sovereignty.

Speaking in a meeting with visiting French Defense Minister Florence Parly in Baghdad on Thursday, Salih stressed the need for an end to the Turkish military aggression on the Iraqi soil, saying Ankara's actions are in violation of the Iraqi sovereignty as well as international law and undermine good neighborly relations.

The Iraqi president then called for concerted international efforts in the fight against terrorism, and stronger cooperation and coordination to combat all forms of extremism.

Parly, for her part, voiced France's support for the stability and sovereignty of Iraq.

The French defense minister added that her country is ready to provide training, munitions as well as logistical support to Iraqi security forces.

The two officials also discussed ways for further development of Iraq-France bilateral relations, and expansion of cooperation in all fields, especially security and military capabilities.

They exchanged viewpoints on the latest regional and international developments as well.

Turkish min.: We have no problem with our Iraqi brethren

Separately on Thursday, Turkey's Defense Minister Hulusi Akar stated that Turkish forces will continue their military operations in northern Iraq.

"We're going to destroy the [terrorist] threat there; that's our goal," Akar said in an exclusive interview with the official Anadolu news agency.

"Our struggle within this framework will continue until the last terrorist is neutralized. There is no retreat. This is President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's instruction. We will save our nation that has suffered from this calamity (PKK) for more than 40 years. This is our wish," the Turkish defense chief emphasized.

"Apart from that, we do not have a problem with our Iraqi brothers. We are already discussing the operations with the Iraqi administration and the efforts to neutralize terrorists there," he added.

The Turkish military started its ground campaign, dubbed Claw-Tiger Operation, against PKK positions in northern Iraq on July 17. Claw-Eagle Operation, the air campaign, had begun two days earlier.

Turkish ground and air forces frequently carry out operations against PKK positions in the country as well as in northern Iraq and neighboring Syria.

A shaky ceasefire between the PKK and the Turkish government collapsed in July 2015. Attacks on Turkish security forces have soared ever since.

More than 40,000 people have been killed during the three-decade conflict between Turkey and the autonomy-seeking militant group.

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