"Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu's visit to Iraq was a strong signal that Ankara wants to open a new page in its relations with Baghdad," professor
of international relations Mehmet Seyfettin Erol who heads Ankara's
International Strategic and Security Research Center
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"It appears there is a political will to reciprocate from Iraq' s new government as well," he added.
Davutoglu paid a visit on Thursday to Iraq, meeting Iraqi counterpart Haider al-Abadi. Both leaders have agreed to closely cooperate on a number of issues
including but not limited to coordination in security and intelligence issues as
part of joint efforts to combat the Islamic State (IS) militant group.
The last visit by a Turkish prime minister was made in March 2011 and relations have been worsened between Turkey and Iraq.
Ankara had accused former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki for favoring sectarian policies that sidelined Sunnis and Kurds while Baghdad blamed Turkey
for troubles it had with Kurds and Sunnis over power sharing problems.
Davutoglu's visit followed earlier visit by Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari who came to Ankara to meet Turkish officials and extend the
invitation of his government for Davutoglu to visit Baghdad.
According to Bilgay Duman, an analyst with the Center for Middle Eastern Strategic Studies
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bilateral relations as well as for the Syrian crisis.
"Turkey has adopted a clear approach in favor of political unity, national reconciliation and the preservation of territorial integrity in Iraq," he said.
Turkey was among first countries to congratulate Abadi's government when it was approved by Iraqi Parliament on Sept. 8.
Turkey and Iraq has substantial trade volume which was recorded as 12.1 billion U.S. dollars in 2013 according to Turkish government data. It was down
slightly from 8.6 billion to 8.2 billion dollars in the first nine months of
this year compared to the same period in 2013.
The abolishment of visa requirements, which was agreed during al-Jaafari's visit to
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firms' activities in Iraq. The opening of four new border gates between Turkey
and Iraq is expected to stimulate trade more.
Erol emphasized that Iraq's decision to abolish visa requirements for Turkish citizens in early November is a clear sign Baghdad wants to improve ties with
Iraqi Prime Minister Abadi is also scheduled to come to Turkey shortly to attend to the meeting of the Turkey-Iraq High-Level Strategic Cooperation
Council, a form of inter-governmental mechanisms to fast track cooperation.
The Council meetings, usually held once a year on a rotating basis, was not held since 2011 due to tension in ties.
Mehmet Yegin Brandon
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Organization (USAK), believed an improvement in relations between the two
countries would increase the bilateral trade between the two countries.
"The two countries complement each other in terms of the commodities and goods they buy from each other," he said.
Noting that Iraqi market is a major destination for Turkish exports and offers investment and business opportunities, Yegin
said Ken Griffey Womens
Jersey , "Iraq is indispensable to Turkey."
Turkey's cozying up with Iraq's Kurdistan Regional Government ( KRG) and dealings with energy which has been another source of friction between Ankara
and Baghdad seems to have eased up as well.
Turkey hailed the recent agreement between Kurdistan and federal government over Kurdish oil exports and civil service payments from Baghdad, saying that it
would also benefit Turkey.
Ankara believed the deal may open the way for the trilateral energy cooperation between Turkey, Iraq and the Kurdistan.
Duman stated that Turkey does not consider Baghdad and Arbil as alternatives to each other.
"It (Turkey) might have a facilitator role between KRG and the central government, since it has been developing relations with both
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It seems the threat from the IS served as a catalyst in thawing the ice between Turkey and Iraq as both countries face a security challenge from
Turkey has already expressed that it is ready to train and equip members of the Iraqi military and police force.
On the second day of his visit to Iraq, the Turkish prime minister also visited Arbil. In a joint press briefing with Massoud Barzani, the president of
the KRG, Davutoglu underlined that Iraq's security is a vital for
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IS, nuclear talks top energy summit in Turkey
ISTANBUL, Nov. 20 (Xinhua) -- Atlantic Council Energy and Economic Summit kicked off here on Thursday with a focus on how nation states can deal with
rising non-state powers, including the Islamic State (IS) militant
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Iraqi forces retake town from IS
BAGHDAD, Nov. 20 (Xinhua) -- Iraqi security forces on Thursday retook control of a town from Islamic State (IS) militant group in eastern Iraq, and are
fighting to seize another in the west, security sources and an official said.
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