Turkey Wants Regional Free-Trade Zone to Include Iraq

The Turkish Foreign Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, met the Iraqi Parliament Speaker, Osama al-Nujaifi, in Baghdad on Sunday and congratulated him on his election as the Parliament Speaker.

Davutoglu said he was pleased over the developments in Iraq and underlined that, "we will be pleased to see inclusion of Iraq to a free trade zone among Turkey, Syria, Jordan and Lebanon."

Al-Nujaifi said the contribution of regional countries, particularly Turkey, was necessary for improvement of Iraq's economy and security. He added that Turkey was impartial during the Iraq government crisis.

Al-Nujaifi said Turkey could assume a very significant and important role in restorating of stability to the region.

Davutoglu separately met with Iraqi National Alliance Chairman, Ibrahim Jaafari; Al-Iraqiyah Party Chairman, Ayad Allawi; and Iraqi Islamic Supreme Council leader, Ammar al-Hakim.

Referring to his talks with senior Iraqi officials, Davutoglu said the harmonization seen in Iraq created hope for the future. "Iraq has a brilliant future with those virtuous leaders," he said.

He said he would travel to Damascus because of the developments in Lebanon and emphasized the importance of the High Ranking Strategic Cooperation Council formed with Iraq.

Davutoglu invited Iraqi President, Jalal Talabani, and stated that Turkey wanted a continuation of cooperation in fight against terrorism.

Talabani said relations improved following the agreements signed between Turkey and Iraq. He said they were pleased over the initiatives made by Turkish companies in Iraq.

Iraqi Vice President, Tariq al-Hashimi, said they wanted Turkey to focus on service projects and noted that they were expected assistance of Turkey for re-construction of Iraq.

(Source: World Bulletin)

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