Meeting with Iraqi Turkmen deputies, Davutoglu calls for unity in Iraq
At a fast-breaking dinner in Ankara over the weekend, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu met with Iraqi Turkmen parliamentarians who won their seats in Iraq's March general elections. Speaking to reporters afterwards, Davutoglu said that they had discussed the political situation in Iraq, which has been unable to form a government since the elections, and that he told them about Turkey's efforts to break the deadlock amid the country's fragile stability as the US plans to withdraw its troops there late next year. Stating that they also discussed how ethnic Turkmens, as one of Iraq's fundamental elements, would continue to contribute to Iraq's unity and prosperity, Davutoglu said, "It is crucial that Iraqi society comes together beyond all sectarian and ethnic conflicts. Given the geographic areas they live in and their longstanding key position in society, Turkmens are among the leading elements of the Iraqi society representing Iraq's unity. For this reason, Turkmens continuing to make contributions to Iraq in the future carries great importance." Stressing that Turkey places great importance on the Turkmen deputies in the Iraqi Parliament working together, Davutoglu said they have the determination to achieve this and to form a Turkmen group in the Parliament. Davutoglu also stressed the great importance Turkey places on unity and solidarity among Iraq's various ethnic and sectarian groups – Sunnis, Shiites, Arabs, Turks, Kurds, Turkmens and Assyrians – and added that the Turkmens feel the same.