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Turkey may mediate between Iraq, Kurdistan region

January 11, 2018 at 11:39 am

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in Istanbul, Turkey on 13 December 2017 [Arif Hüdaverdi Yaman/Anadolu Agency]

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said he will discuss a proposal for Turkish mediation between Iraq and the Kurdistan region during his upcoming visit to Iraq on 21 January.

“There are calls for such mediation. We will discuss this issue as well as bilateral issues,” he told AFP.

The Turkish minister did not specify the parties that called for Turkey’s mediation.

Relations between Baghdad and Erbil deteriorated after the Kurdish region held a referendum on separation from Iraq on 25 September where the voters overwhelmingly supported independence. Iraq did not recognise the vote which it said was “illegal” and imposed economic sanctions on its northern territory.

Read: The independence gamble has misfired for Iraq’s Kurds

Turkey and Iran, which have large Kurdish communities of their own, also rejected the referendum.

Later in November, Kurdish President, Massoud Barzani announced his resignation after losing a majority of disputed areas with Baghdad, especially those rich in oil that would have provided him with funding for a potential state.