Turkey's new envoy to Iraq hopeful for promising bilateral ties

By Haydar Karaalp

BAGHDAD (AA) – Turkey's newly appointed ambassador to Iraq expressed hope Thursday that a promising period for bilateral relations will begin.

Ali Riza Guney said Turkey will carry out a diplomacy that will touch all segments in Iraq.

"In the shortest time, I plan to make regular and scheduled visits to all Iraqi provinces, regardless of sectarian and ethnic differences,” Guney said.

“Our goal in the new period is to keep the channels of dialogue open, regardless of the problems between the two countries, and to make high-level visits frequently,” he said.

“We see Iraq as a single whole. Any threat against Iraq’s territorial integrity is a threat against Turkey,” Guney stressed.

-Trade relations

Guney noted that Turkey wants to further develop trade and economic relations with Iraq.

Turkey’s goal is to increase the trade volume between the two countries and support Iraqi efforts to diversify the nation’s economy.

“We are ready to make investments in Iraq. We wish to turn Iraq into a transportation corridor for commercial activities,” he said.

-Fight against PKK terrorist organization

Guney urged Iraqi authorities to develop empathy with Turkey to better understand and internalize its struggle with the PKK terror group.

He called on the Iraqi central government and Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) to support Turkey in its fight against PKK terrorists holed up in Iraq.

"Iraqi Turks are a bridge of friendship between the two countries. They should be embraced by the Iraqi people,” Guney said.

"One of the guarantees of Iraq's integrity are the Iraqi Turks. We will work together with them for the good of Iraq and Turkey,” he added.

*Writing by Zehra Nur Duz in Ankara