Iraqi ambassador summoned over ‘occupier’ troops slight

– Iraqi lawmakers mischaracterizing Turkish troops as ‘occupiers’ leads to diplomatic parley

ANKARA (AA) – Iraq’s ambassador to Ankara was summoned to the Foreign Ministry on Wednesday after the Iraqi parliament’s characterization of Turkish troops in Bashiqa as “occupiers,” according to a ministry source, reported Anadolu Agency.

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media, said that Hisham Ali Akbar Ibrahim Al-Alawi was called to the ministry early Wednesday.

The ministry on Tuesday condemned the Iraqi parliament’s mischaracterization of Turkish troops in Bashiqa, situated near the Daesh-occupied northern Iraqi city of Mosul, who are present there to train Iraqi troops to fight Daesh.

“We strongly condemn the Iraqi parliament’s unacceptable decision, including dirty accusations against Turkish President [Recep Tayyip Erdogan],” the ministry said in a statement.

It said the decision did not reflect the opinion of the Iraqi people, which Turkey has stood by and supported for years.

It also stressed that Turkey has been fighting Daesh, which is a threat to its national security, and that Ankara is a member of an international coalition fighting the terror group.

“Turkey has lost thousands of citizens due to the terror threat from Iraq and has defended Iraq’s territorial integrity, sovereignty, stability, and security, thereby taking huge political and economic risks, although it has been directly affected by the instability caused by Iraq’s sectarian approach,” the statement said.

A 2007 mandate that allows military action against terror organizations in neighboring Syria and Iraq was extended by Turkey’s parliament after the emergence of Daesh, according to the statement.

“Turkey will maintain its determination to fight terrorist organizations which threaten the national security under its right to self-defense as well as to protect the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Iraq, with which it shares a common future,” according to the statement.

Iraq’s parliament Tuesday rejected Turkish lawmakers’ decision to extend the mandate.

The Foreign Ministry statement urged Iraqi authorities to “take the friendly hand offered by Turkey” to the benefit of Iraq and the region “in a period which is so critical in terms of fighting Daesh”.

In the resolution passed Tuesday, in addition to the “occupiers” characterization, Iraq’s parliament called on the government to send a diplomatic note to Turkey’s ambassador to Baghdad and also to reconsider trade and economic ties with Turkey.