Iraqi PM, Turkish president discuss bilateral ties

Baghdad: Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi has held a phone conversation with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to discuss bilateral ties and cooperation in counter-terrorism efforts, Abdul Mahdi’s office said Wednesday.

A statement by the office said that Abdul Mahdi confirmed his keenness on developing relations with Turkey and the importance of joint cooperation to achieve stability and counter-terrorism, reported Xinhua news agency.

He also stressed his government’s serious endeavour to achieve the reforms that the Iraqi people aspire to, the statement added.

“Abdul Mahdi explained to the Turkish president the current situation in Iraq, especially the demonstrations and the way to deal with them,” the statement said.

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Abdul Mahdi also pointed out the difference between the peaceful protesters and “groups of saboteurs who use violence, attacking security forces, threatening and intimidating citizens, schools, government institutions, and burning buildings,” it added.

For his part, Erdogan expressed his support for the unity and stability of Iraq, and his readiness to develop bilateral relations in all fields, the statement said.

The Turkish president also praised the “wisdom and patience in the Iraqi government’s approach to dealing with the demonstrations, and stressed the importance of imposing law and order as well as listening to the demands of the people of Iraq.”

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The phone call came as mass demonstrations continued in the capital Baghdad and other cities in central and southern Iraq since early October, demanding comprehensive reform, accountability for corruption, improvement of public services and job opportunities.

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