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Turkey/Iraq boost ties despite raids dispute

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Turkey/Iraq boost ties despite raids dispute


Turkish and Iraqi leaders have pledged to work together on security despite relations strained by Ankara’s raids into northern Iraq to combat Kurdish rebels.

It came during a visit by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the first by a Turkish leader since the invasion of Iraq.

After talks with his Iraqi counterpart, Nouri al-Maliki, Erdogan said they would set up a security area to eliminate what he called “terrorist threats.” They agreed to create a council for “strategic cooperation”, but it was not clear if that would target the PKK militant group.

It regularly mounts attacks on Turkey from bases in northern Iraq in pursuit of its aim of an ethnic homeland for Kurds.

Baghdad has repeatedly condemned Turkey’s cross-border strikes in retaliation for the PKK’s raids.

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