January 10, 2012
Turkey Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Monday Iraq was experiencing “bloody” events which could not be ignored, and warned against a sectarian conflict in the southern neighbor.
Erdogan, at a joint news conference with his Norwegian counterpart, said Turkey could not watch the situation in Iraq slipping into a “bloody conflict with a sectarian flavor.” He said the events in Iraq were effecting Turkey.
Erdogan made these remarks amidst political conflict between the Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki’s rule of law coalition and the Iraqiya List after a judicial committee issued an arrest warrant for vice-president Tareq Al-hashimi on terrorism charges.
Erdogan said he would hold phone conversations with Al-Maliki tomorrow to discuss the “worrying developments.” Erodgan voiced concern the conflict in Iraq would develop into a sectarian dispute.
Turkey cannot see Iraq drift into this conflict, he said.
Following the US forces’ withdrawal from Iraq by end of last month, he added, the expected happened and the “bloody process in Iraq had begun.” On Syria, Erdogan said the conflict might trigger a sectarian and ethnic civil war.
He said Turkey was exerting efforts to prevent this from happening.
“If such a war erupts in Syria then this will put us in a very difficult and complex situation that threaten the security of Turkey,” he said.
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