Iraq Slams Turkish FM Kirkuk Visit

The Iraqi foreign ministry on Thursday sharply criticized a visit by Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu to the disputed city of Kirkuk, saying it had not been informed of or approved the trip.

“It is not in the interest of Turkey or any other party to underestimate the national sovereignty and violate the rules of international relations and not comply with the most basic regulations in the relations of states and officials,” a statement on the foreign ministry’s website said.

“All of that was done without the knowledge or approval of the foreign ministry and without going to the official and diplomatic channels to organize this visit,” it said.

Davutoglu made his trip to Kirkuk while on a visit to Iraqi Kurdistan, whose leaders have long called for the incorporation of the ethnically divided oil city in their autonomous region in the north, against strong opposition from Baghdad.

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