Baghdad, Erbil committed to clearing Iraq of PKK: Fidan

Both the central government in Baghdad and the Kurdistan regional government in Erbil are committed to clearing Iraq of the PKK terror, the Turkish foreign minister has said, pledging Ankara's continued support in their fight against terrorism.

"Both Baghdad and Erbil are quite committed to clearing Iraqi territories of the PKK terrorism. And we will pledge our support to this end," Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan told reporters at a joint press conference with Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government's Prime Minister Masrur Barzani on Aug. 24 in Erbil.

Fidan held talks in Baghdad with the central government officials, including Iraqi President Abdul Latif Rashid and Foreign Minister Fouad Hussein on Aug. 23 before traveling to northern Iraq. In Erbil, Fidan first met with the president of the Kurdistan government, Nechirvan Barzani, and later met Prime Minister Masrur Barzani.

The two officials held a brief press conference following their talks.

"We have reviewed many bilateral issues, particularly the fight against terrorism, energy, economy and trade," Fidan said. Thanking Erbil for their cooperation in the fight against terrorism, Fidan recalled that the PKK was using the Iraqi territories to hide after they had almost lost their presence in Türkiye.

"But there is more to eliminate terrorism," Fidan said, underlining Ankara's satisfaction with the cooperation Baghdad and Erbil are demonstrating against the presence of the PKK in Iraq. Fidan said he discussed the terror problem during his talks with the representatives of the central government in Baghdad.

The PKK, listed as a terror organization by the United States and the European Union, has long been enjoying the power vacuum in northern Iraq for decades. Its main...

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