Turkey wants to use national currencies in trade with neighboring Iraq because this will make trade between the two countries more profitable, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said. “We are already doing this with Iran and Russia. We can do it with Iraq too, there is no problem as far as we are concerned,” Erdoğan told reporters en route to Turkey from a visit to Iraq late on Wednesday.
Erdoğan said Turkey also wanted to lift visa requirement but added that the Iraqi side was cautious, because of security concerns. “We said let's at least lift visa requirement for holders of diplomatic passports. We will follow with total abolishment of visas as well,” he said.
The prime minister, who visited the Shiite province of Najaf and the Kurdish province of Arbil in addition to Baghdad during his visit, said the visit to Arbil was long overdue, although it was not easy to do it. “During the first two years of our rule, Turkey's policy was centered on [the situation of] Turkmens in Iraq. We showed great patience to transform our Turkmen-based policy into one that takes into consideration all of Iraq,” Erdoğan said. “I went to Arbil when we agreed that it was time for that.”
Erdoğan also said Turkey was involved in efforts to resolve a crisis in Bahrain, noting that all parties involved in the crisis have supported Turkish efforts. On Libya, he said France, which initiated coalition operations against Libya, was sidelined when NATO took full control of operations in the North African country. “We also insisted that the Arab League, the African Union and the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) should also join NATO [in determining policies for Libya]. This happened,” he said.
2011-03-31 Muhabir: Abdülhamit Bilici