Iraqi president says his country won’t allow damage to robust ties with Iran
Iraqi President Abdul-Latif Rashid has defined as “very important” his relation with Iraq stressing that Baghdad will not allow any country to undermine the robust ties with Tehran.
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“We share a border with Iran with a length of 1,400 kilometers and our relations with Iran are good and robust and very important to us,” Abdul-Latif Rashid said in a recent interview with the Saudi-run Al-Hadath channel.
Rashid said his country is against other parties using Iraq’s territory to hurt neighboring nations, underlining a recent security agreement between Iraq and Iran to deal with groups conducting anti-Iran operations from Iraq’s Kurdistan region.
"We are against any party using Iraqi and Kurdistan Region territories against any neighboring state. This is our clear policy," he said.
Under the agreement signed in March, Iraq committed to relocate the anti-Iran groups to areas away from Iran borders and to disarm them.
The presence of Kurdish terrorist groups, including the Kurdistan Democratic Party, Komala, Kurdistan Free Life Party, and the Kurdistan Freedom Party, has been a source of tension between Iran and Iraq for years, with these groups often carrying out terrorist attacks on Iranian soil.
Rashid called for a security agreement between Iraq and Turkey similar to its deal with Iran to stop repeated Turkish airstrikes against Iraq’s Kurdistan region.
He said Baghdad rejects the Turkish airstrikes or the presence of Turkish bases in its Kurdistan region.
“These violations are rejected by the Iraqi people, the (Kurdistan) region and all of Iraq’s inhabitants,” Rashid said, arguing that such strikes sometimes killed civilians, including people visiting the region.
Turkey regards the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) as a terrorist group and it regularly carries out airstrikes in Iraq’s Kurdistan region.
Turkey said on Sunday it carried out airstrikes in northern Iraq that destroyed 20 targets belonging to the PKK after the militant group said it orchestrated the first bomb attack in Ankara in years that left two police officers injured.
Turkey has also sent commandos and set up military bases on Iraqi territory to support its offensives.