Iraqi parliament summons FM on Turkish and Iranian 'breach of sovereignty' 

Iraqi parliament summons FM on Turkish and Iranian 'breach of sovereignty' 
2 min read
25 April, 2022
Iraqi parliament committee tasks clarification from the country’s foreign minister on the alleged agreement with Turkey allowing it to cross the border into Iraq.
Iraqi Foreign Minister Fouad Hussein in Iraq's capital Baghdad, on 29 March 2021. [Getty]

The Iraqi parliament's foreign relations committee on Sunday hosted Iraq's foreign minister Fouad Hussein to request clarification on Ankara's claims that the recent Turkish cross-border military incursion into the Iraqi Kurdistan region against the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) was conducted in agreement with Baghdad.

The head of the Sadrist bloc in the parliament, Hassan al-Adari, on Sunday demanded that the Iraqi FM clarify whether Iraq has any agreements with Turkey to allow it to conduct cross-border operations inside the Iraqi territories, Iraqi News Agency (INA) reported.  

"There are inquiries about the measures taken by the Iraqi government towards Turkish and Iranian violations, whether an official case has been filed before the [UN] Security Council, and is there a diplomatic move before the Arab League to clarify these violations, and how true is there an agreement with the Turkish side and the Iraqi government on the military presence inside Iraq," al-Adari was quoted as saying. 

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Hosting Iraq's FM to the parliament comes after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan last week said the central government in Baghdad, as well as the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), support Turkey's latest offensive.

The New Arab has contacted Ahmed al-Sahaf, spokesperson of the Iraqi foreign ministry, but he was not immediately available for comments. 

Late on Sunday, al-Sahaf in a statement refuted the existence of any agreement with Turkey to allow it to cross into the Iraqi territories.  

"The Turkish side is carrying out ongoing breaches against Iraq without any legal basis or agreement between both countries…In today's meeting in the parliament measures that allow Iraq to move against Turkish aggressions diplomatically were discussed," al-Sahaf said.  

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The Sadrist bloc, the largest faction in the Iraqi parliament, belongs to the Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr who on April 19 said in a tweet that they will not tolerate breaching Iraq's sovereignty by Turkey. 

The Sadrist bloc has collected signatures of 50 lawmakers to summon foreign minister Hussein to attend the parliament's special session to answer questions on repeated Turkish and Iranian breaching of the country's sovereignty, the First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Hakim Al-Zamili, was quoted by INA as saying. 

Turkey launched its Operation Claw-Lock on April 18, its third campaign in northern Iraq since 2020, with special forces and combat drones used to attack PKK fighters.

The PKK has been waging an insurgency for greater autonomous rights against the Turkish state since 1984, with tens of thousands estimated to have been killed so far. The PKK has been categorised as a "terrorist organisation" by Ankara and its Western allies.