Holding a joint press conference with Prime Minister Al-Sudani of Iraq, President Erdoğan said: “We have emphasized our determination to work together to realize the ‘Development Road’ project aimed at establishing a land and rail road transportation corridor stretching from Basra to Türkiye’s border. With the ‘Ankara Memorandum’ we have adopted, we have taken a critical step that shows our determination to jointly work to that end. The Development Road is a project of high strategic importance for the entire region as well as for Türkiye and Iraq.”
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani of Iraq held a joint press conference following their tête-à-tête and the meeting between the delegations at the Presidential Complex.
Commencing his speech by voicing his pleasure over hosting Prime Minister Al-Sudani of Iraq and his delegation in Ankara, President Erdoğan said: “I would like to thank once again the Iraqi people and government for the solidarity they have displayed in our efforts to cope with the earthquake disaster. We see this visit as a sign of the Iraqi people’s friendship.”
“DEVELOPMENT ROAD IS A PROJECT OF HIGH STRATEGIC IMPORTANCE FOR THE ENTIRE REGION”
Underscoring that they, by joining forces as the state and the nation, and with the support of friendly and brotherly countries, would heal the wounds of the earthquakes and remove the traces of the disaster in a short span of time, President Erdoğan noted: “During our meeting, I and Mr. Prime Minister have addressed all aspects of our bilateral relations. We have reiterated our determination for an all-out fight against terror in all its forms.”
“We have emphasized our determination to work together to realize the ‘Development Road’ project aimed at establishing a land and rail road transportation corridor stretching from Basra to Türkiye’s border,” President Erdoğan stressed, and added: “With the ‘Ankara Memorandum’ we have adopted, we have taken a critical step that shows our determination to jointly work to that end. The Development Road is a project of high strategic importance for the entire region as well as for Türkiye and Iraq.”
Underscoring that millions of people in a vast geography, from Europe to the Gulf region, would benefit the added value that would arise with the establishment of this road, President Erdoğan went on to say: “We know that other brotherly countries take a close interest, too, in this project that will strengthen the regional cooperation, enhance our trade and consolidate our social relations. I believe that we will inshallah turn the Development Road project into the new ‘Silk Road’ of our region with their contributions as well.”
“TÜRKİYE IS THE BIGGEST DEFENDER OF IRAQ’S POLITICAL UNITY AND TERRITORIAL INTEGRITY”
Stating that current regional issues were also on the agenda of today’s talks, President Erdoğan continued as follows: “Türkiye has proven on every occasion that it is a true friend of the Iraqi people. Also, the biggest defender of Iraq’s political unity and territorial integrity is Türkiye. Differences of approach may arise between neighbors from time to time. Türkiye and Iraq have always displayed the determination to resolve these differences within the spirit of neighborhood. We maintain the same will and spirit of partnership today as well. We are two countries that know well the murderous and bitter face of terror, and have paid its price. We see it as a duty to fight terrorism in all its forms. During our meeting with Mr. Prime Minister, we have also discussed our fight against such terrorist organizations as PKK, DAESH and FETO in particular. It is obvious that these groups pose a threat to both of the countries.”
Further stressing that Türkiye’s expectation from the Iraqi people was to recognize PKK as a terrorist organization and clear their lands of this murderous terrorist organization, President Erdoğan said that Türkiye stood ready for all kinds of cooperation with Iraq in combatting terror.