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    February 10, 2016

    Rogozin Backs Baghdad's Position on Turkish Troops in Northern Iraq

    Translated by Ollie Richardson for Fort Russ
    10th February, 2016




    The Vice-Premier of Russia, Dmitry Rogozin, supported the official position of Baghdad during his visit to Iraq, declaring the illegality of stay of the Turkish troops in the North,  the Ministry of Foreign Affairs deputy head - the special representative of the president of Russia on Middle East and Africa countries, Mikhail Bogdanov, told journalists on Wednesday.

    According to him, this was discussed at the meeting between the Deputy Chairman of the government of Russia and the Foreign Minister of Iraq, Ibrahim al-Jaafari, who personally met with Rogozin at the Baghdad airport.

    The Deputy Foreign Minister noted that they discussed the problems in the countries of the region in the current crisis. He spoke of coordination "in terms of consolidation of positions and opportunities in the fight against terrorists on the principles of respecting international law".

    "And in this context the issue of the illegal stay of the Turkish troops on the Iraqi territory was discussed . In this respect, too, there was support for the official position of the Iraqi government, which is based on the need to respect the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Iraqi Republic", — said Bogdanov.

    Representatives of the two countries, according to the Deputy head of the Foreign Ministry, discussed the military-political situation in the Middle East with emphasis on the fight against the "Islamic State" and other terrorist groups.

    During the two-day visit, Rogozin, who arrived in Iraq as the head of an impressive delegation, scheduled several bilateral meetings, including with the country's President and Parliament speaker. On February 11th, the first meeting in eight years of the intergovernmental Commission was scheduled, the Russian party of which is headed by Rogozin.

    In December, relations between Iraq and Turkey escalated, when the Turkish military and armored vehicles entered the Iraqi district of Ba`shiqah in Nineveh province on the pretext of training national teams fighting against the terrorists. The Iraqi Foreign Ministry and the Defense Ministry called the Turkish military presence a "hostile action," which was not authorized with the authorities, and claimed a violation of sovereignty.


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