Turkey and Iraq meet in UK to talk energy, security

Turkey and Iraq meet in UK to talk energy, security

 

By Serkan Demirtaş

The sequence of developments in the Middle East is very interesting to observe. On March 22, Israel apologized to Turkey nearly three years after its fatal Mavi Marmara attack killing nine Turkish citizens. The apology came after the serious and intensive mediation of the United States, which did not hide its frustration at the row between its two closest allies, especially at a time when the entire region is at risk of spillover of the fire in Syria.

On March 24, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry paid a snap visit to Iraq. He held extensive meetings with Iraqi officials, with particular emphasis on the increasingly deteriorated relations between Ankara and Baghdad. Turkey’s insistence on pursuing lucrative energy deals with the northern Iraqi administration, at the expense of angering the central government, has pushed Washington to seek ways to mediate between the two. The move came from Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on April 5. In a statement posted on his official website, he said he would welcome rapprochement with Turkey “on the basis of shared interests, mutual respect and good-neighborliness”.