Cairo: Saudi Arabia and Iraq have said they reject all Turkish violations of Arab security amid tensions between Baghdad and Ankara over the constant Turkish attacks on northern Iraq.
Iraq said that three border guard personnel were killed in a strike by a Turkish drone on Tuesday in the Iraqi region of Kurdistan. The attack prompted Baghdad to cancel a scheduled visit by the Turkish defence minister and summon the Turkish ambassador in Iraq in protest.
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Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal Bin Farhan offered condolences to his Iraqi counterpart Fouad Hussain over the Iraqi military deaths, the Saudi news agency SPA said.
“In this regard, the two ministers confirmed their rejection of those violations and harming security and stability of the Arab countries,” SPA said.
During their phone conversation Wednesday night, both officials also reviewed Saudi-Iraqi ties as well as a number of regional and international issues of mutual interest, the agency added without details.
Turkey has sparked Arab anger for its meddling in Arab affairs, including interventions in war-torn Syria and Libya.
Turkey has regularly attacked Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK)militants, both in its mainly Kurdish southeast and in northern Iraq, where the group is based. In June, Ankara launched a new ground offensive, dubbed Operation Claw Tiger, that saw Turkish troops advance deeper into Iraq.
Iraq’s foreign ministry then said Baghdad cancelled a visit by Turkey’s defence minister to the country, and summoned the Turkish ambassador to inform him of “Iraq’s confirmed rejection of his country’s attacks and violations”.
In a statement early on Thursday, Turkey’s foreign ministry said PKK presence also threatened Iraq and that it was Baghdad’s responsibility to take measures against the militants, but that Ankara will defend its borders if the PKK’s presence is allowed.