On the economic front, Turkey's President Erdogan said that both countries could easily reach their trade goal of $20 billion.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R) and Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi (L) hold a joint press conference after their meeting at the Presidential Complex in Ankara, Turkey on December 17, 2020.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R) and Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi (L) hold a joint press conference after their meeting at the Presidential Complex in Ankara, Turkey on December 17, 2020. (Ali Balıkcı / AA)

Turkey and Iraq have agreed to continue fighting terrorists trying to disrupt peace and stability in their common region, the Turkish president announced.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's remarks came at a joint news conference following a meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al Kadhimi who is in Turkey to discuss regional, bilateral and economic ties.

It's the first visit Kadhimi has paid to Turkey upon the invitation of Erdogan since he took the office in May.

Erdogan said terror groups such as Daesh as well as the PKK and Fetullah Terrorist Organisation (FETO), were "common enemies" of both sides and underlined that separatist terrorist aims had no future in Turkey, Iraq or Syria.

"There is no place for terror in the future of Iraq, Turkey and Syria."

"Our region will not reach peace unless the head of terror is crushed," Erdogan said.

Kadhimi said his country would not allow any terror group to use Iraqi soil for attacks inside Turkey, and that it was cooperating with Ankara to confront terror groups.

"Iraq has a clear stance in condemning any action threatening Turkey or using the Iraqi territory to threaten Turkey's national security," Kadhimi said.

In cooperation with Turkey, Iraq can reconstruct from the devastation Daesh left in Iraq, he added.

READ MORE: Turkey and Iraq team up on counterterrorism as locals aid in arrests

'Field for cooperation'

The two countries also agreed to continue working on a Turkish-proposed action plan geared toward the “effective use” of the waters of the Tigris River, following Turkey’s construction of Ilisu Dam in southeast Turkey, Erdogan said.

“As Turkey, we stress that water shouldn't be assessed as a factor for disagreement, but a field for cooperation,” Erdogan said.

The two leaders also signed a memorandum of understanding for tourism.

Apart from the security talks, both sides also discussed economy as Turkey has a trade volume with Iraq targeting at $20 billion. 

Turkey has signed an agreement with Iraq to prevent double taxation and also to offer Kirkuk oil to the world market to reconstruct the war-torn country's economy. 

READ MORE: Why do protests in Iraq refuse to go away?

Counterterrorism team up

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK, listed as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the US, and the EU, has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants. The YPG is the PKK’s Syrian offshoot.

FETO and its US-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, which left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.

Ankara also says FETO is behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.

In 2017, Iraq declared victory over Daesh by reclaiming all its territory, about a third of the country’s area, invaded in 2014.

But the terror outfit still maintains sleeper cells and launches attacks periodically.

The Iraqi army continues to carry out anti-terror operations.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies