Turkish FM Arrives In Baghdad to Meet Senior Officials

Turkish FM Arrives In Baghdad to Meet Senior Officials

 Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu arrived in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad on Wednesday morning (August 23) to hold talks with senior Iraqi officials.

Sources from the Turkish Foreign Ministry said Cavusoglu will meet with his Iraqi counterpart Ibrahim al-Jaafari, President Fuad Masum and Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in Baghdad on Tuesday, Daily Sabah reported. He will also hold talks with Iraqi Turkmen politicians.

Cavusoglu is also scheduled to meet with Iraqi Parliament Speaker Salim al-Jabouri, according to a ministry statement released on Monday (August 21).

Cavusoglu will discuss the fight against Islamic State (ISIS) militants, the latest developments of the Tal Afar operation and the security situation in the country.

The Turkish foreign minister is also expected to pay a visit to the Kurdistan Region after his visit with Iraqi officials, where he will visit with Masoud Barzani.

The fight against terrorism and the planned referendum on the independence of Kurdistan are expected to be at the top of the agenda, Daily Sabah reported.

Kurds have said they will hold the referendum on September 25 despite concerns from Iraq's neighbors who have Kurdish minorities within their borders and a U.S. request to postpone it.

Cavusoglu said during an interview with broadcast TRT Haber on August 16 that that the referendum could make the situation in the region worse and even lead to a civil war.

Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister and government spokesman Bekir Bozdaf said the day earlier that Kurdish independence violates Iraq's constitution and will further destabilize the region.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim has said the decision by the authorities in the Kurdistan Region to hold a referendum on the independence of Kurdistan was “irresponsible."

Besides disapproval from the government of Turkey, the decision has also concerned Iraq, the United States, Britain, Russia and Germany as well as Iran.