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Iraqi PM Abadi arrives in Turkey for talks with Erdogan

Ties between the two countries are warming amid opposition to the Kurdish independence referendum. [Getty]

Date of publication: 25 October, 2017

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Iraqi PM Haider al-Abadi arrived in Turkey on Wednesday for talks with president Erdogan as ties between the two countries warm amid staunch opposition to the Kurdish independence referendum.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi arrived in Ankara on Wednesday for talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as ties between the two countries warm amid staunch opposition to the Kurdish independence referendum.

Relations between Baghdad and Ankara were strained last year over Turkey's presence at the Bashiqa military base in northern Iraq, where around 500 troops were training local fighters ahead of the successful operation to free Mosul from the Islamic State group.

Since the non-binding Kurdish independence vote last month, however, Turkey has given its full support to Baghdad by threatening to close its border with Kurdistan and impose economic sanctions.

Ankara had particularly criticised the inclusion of Kirkuk in the independence vote, stressing the province's multi-ethnic character, where Kurds, Arabs and Turkmens live.

Abadi arrived in Ankara late on Wednesday morning and went to the presidential palace, state broadcaster TRT reported. 

He was due to meet with Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim afterwards.

Abadi's visit comes as Iraqi Kurdistan proposed Wednesday to "freeze" the results of its independence referendum and the "start of an open dialogue between the government of Kurdistan and the central government on the basis of the constitution".

The United States, a key ally of both Baghdad and Kurdish forces in the battle against the Islamic State group, opposed the non-binding referendum, as did nations including Iraq's neighbours Iran and Turkey.

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