Turkish Foreign Ministry says that a commemorative stamp planned to be printed depicts a map including Turkish provinces, calling on the KRG officials to immediately reverse its "grave mistake."

Catholic spiritual leader Pope Francis (right), meets Iraqi Kurdish officials in Erbil, March 7, 2021.
Catholic spiritual leader Pope Francis (right), meets Iraqi Kurdish officials in Erbil, March 7, 2021. (AA)

Turkey has strongly criticised northern Iraq's Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) over its attempt to print a controversial commemorative stamp to mark Pope Francis' visit. 

The Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday that one of the commemorative stamps that are planned to be printed depicts a map that includes some provinces of Turkey, and called on the KRG officials to "immediately reverse the grave mistake."

"Some presumptuous KRG leaders are attempting to use this visit [of the Pope] to reveal their pipe dreams targeting territorial integrity of Iraq's neighbouring countries," read the statement.

It added, "The frustrating results of such insidious ambitions would best be remembered by the KRG authorities."

The pope’s four-day historic visit from March 5 to 8 covered five Iraqi cities, including Baghdad, Erbil, Mosul, Najaf, and Nasiriyah.

It was the first-ever visit by a pope to Iraq and the pontiff's first foreign tour since the global outbreak of the coronavirus in December 2019.

Pope Francis held a historic meeting on Saturday with Ali al Sistani, Iraq’s top Shia cleric, in the southern city of Najaf. 

READ MORE: Pope Francis celebrates largest mass of his Iraq visit

Source: TRTWorld and agencies