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Turkey summons Iran envoy amid row on military involvement in Iraq

Iranian ambassador in Iraq Iraj Masjedi gives a press conference in Basra on September 11, 2018 [HAIDAR MOHAMMED ALI/AFP via Getty Images]
Iranian ambassador in Iraq Iraj Masjedi gives a press conference in Basra on September 11, 2018 [HAIDAR MOHAMMED ALI/AFP via Getty Images]

The Turkish Foreign Ministry yesterday summoned the Iranian Ambassador to Ankara, Mohammad Farazmand, to protest against statements by Tehran's ambassador to Iraq in which he accused Turkey of violating the country's sovereignty, Anadolu reported.

The agency quoted Turkish diplomatic sources as saying that the Foreign Ministry has informed the Iranian ambassador that Ankara expects Tehran to support its fight against "terrorism", not to oppose it.

The sources said the Foreign Ministry rejected the accusations levelled by Iran's envoy in Baghdad, Iraj Masjedi, and stressed that Turkey is fighting the Kurdish Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) militias in Iraq who are targeting the stability, security and sovereignty of Iraq.

On Saturday, the Kurdish Rudaw media outlet published an interview with Masjedi in which he called on the Turkish security forces to "leave Iraq and respect its lands".

"We reject military intervention in Iraq and Turkish forces should not pose a threat or violate Iraqi soil," Masjedi said. "The security of the Iraqi area should be maintained by Iraqi forces and [Kurdistan] region forces in their area."

"We do not accept at all, be it Turkey or any other country to intervene in Iraq militarily or advance or have a military presence in Iraq," Masjedi said. "Therefore we believe the Turks must return to their international position and be stationed there, and the security of Iraq be maintained by Iraqis."

The Turkish ambassador to Iraq, Fatih Yildiz, responded on Twitter that "the ambassador of Iran would be the last person to lecture Turkey about respecting borders of Iraq."

In mid-February, Turkey launched a military operation against the PKK in northern Iraq after the group killed 13 Turkish hostages.

READ: Parliament speaker calls on diplomatic missions to respect Iraq's sovereignty

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Europe & RussiaIranIraqMiddle EastNewsTurkey
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