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Iraq seeks to end Turkey troops’ presence through diplomatic channels

May 7, 2019 at 3:15 pm

A joint military drill conducted by Turkish Armed Forces with the participation of Iraqi army troops continue on its thirteenth day, near Habur border gate, on Turkish-Iraqi border in Silopi district of Sirnak province, Turkey on September 30, 2017. ( Fatih Aktaş – Anadolu Agency )

The Iraqi government said yesterday that it was seeking to end the presence of Turkish troops on its territory through diplomatic channels.

“The Iraqi government is aware that the Turkish troops’ presence on its territory has a negative impact on the security and stability of the two countries and is seeking to end the Turkish presence on its territory by diplomatic means,” said Dr. Abdul Karim Hashem, director of the Iraqi prime minister’s office.

The statement added that the number of international coalition forces in Iraq until December 2018 reached 8,956 personnel, including 6,132 US troops who provided advice, training and support.

The document, which came at the request of Member of Parliament Faleh Hassan Jassem of the Sanad National bloc, said the strategic framework agreement signed between Iraq and the United States at the end of 2008 did not specify the duration of the US forces’ stay.

Iraqi Shia parliamentary blocs and factions have been demanding a law be passed that would allow the removal of foreign troops from Iraq. The proposal is rejected by Sunni factions which believe Iraq is still under the threat from terrorist groups.

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