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FM: Turkey to lift visas for Iraqis ‘when time is right’

Turkish Foreign Affairs Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu (2nd R) and Governor of Basra Province Asaad Al Eidani (R) arrive to visit al Eidani Council in Basra, Iraq on April 28, 2019. [Cem Özdel - Anadolu Agency]
Turkish Foreign Affairs Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu (2nd R) and Governor of Basra Province Asaad Al Eidani (R) arrive to visit al Eidani Council in Basra, Iraq on April 28, 2019. [Cem Özdel - Anadolu Agency]

Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said yesterday that his country will lift visas for Iraqi citizens when the time is right.

“The visa requirements will not be applied permanently, and we will review them when things are going well here,” the Turkish minister said during a joint press conference with Basra Governor, Asaad Al-Eidani.

Cavusoglu also explained that the Turkish government will reopen its consulate in Basra “very soon”, adding that Ankara would also like to open consulates in the southern city of Najaf and in the northwestern city of Kirkuk.

Turkey closed its consulate in Basra in mid-2014 due to threats posed by Daesh.

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“Ankara is working to develop its relationship with Baghdad, and seeks to play a major role in the reconstruction of Iraq,” Cavusoglu continued, adding that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will visit Iraq before the end of the year to hold the 4th High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council meeting.

The Turkish minister called on Turkish companies to invest in Iraq now that Daesh has been defeated.

Cavusoglu who arrived in Iraq earlier on Sunday, met with his counterpart, Mohammad Ali Al-Hakim, Iraqi parliament speaker, Mohammad Halabousi, Prime Minister, Adel Abdul Mahdi, and Turkmen parliamentarians.

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IraqMiddle EastNewsTurkey
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