By Sarp Ozer
ANKARA (AA) - Turkish National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar on Tuesday met his Iraqi counterpart Thabet Mohammad Saeed al-Abbasi for talks.
Akar welcomed al-Abbasi with an official ceremony in the capital Ankara, where they discussed bilateral and regional defense issues, particularly fight against terrorism, and cooperation in the defense industry.
During the closed-door meeting, Akar expressed that the PKK terrorist organization poses a threat to both Türkiye and Iraq.
He added that Türkiye respects the border and territorial integrity of all its neighbors, especially Iraq, and that the Turkish forces are determined to end terrorism by protecting its borders and people.
In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Türkiye, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Türkiye, the US, and the EU – has been responsible for the deaths of over 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants.
Akar emphasized the importance of cooperation in the fight against terrorism, information transfer between the armed forces of two countries and the need to increase joint military training and exercises.
The minister also thanked Iraq for the solidarity shown after the Feb. 6 earthquakes that hit southern Türkiye and claimed the lives of more than 50,000 people.
*Writing by Diyar Guldogan