Spokesman says UN encourages Ankara, Baghdad to resolve issue 'through constructive dialogue'
A United Nations spokesman on Tuesday called for dialogue between Turkey and Iraq to resolve an issue of Turkish troops in northern Iraq.
Farhan Haq told reporters in New York that Turkish and Iraqi officials were in close contact with each other in an effort to defuse tensions.
"The United Nations encourages both sides to resolve this issue bilaterally through constructive dialogue," he said.
On Friday, Turkey deployed approximately 150 troops to replace its forces in northern Iraq who were stationed as part of a training program for Kurdish peshmerga fighters. The program has provided training for more than 2,500 peshmerga fighters, including officers, with the ultimate aim of fighting Daesh, according to the Turkish military.
Haq told Anadolu Agency that UN Assistant Secretary-General Miroslav Jenca is expected to brief the Security Council later Tuesday on the presence of Turkish troops in northern Iraq.
"The UN has done its utmost to establish the facts to the extent possible, notwithstanding the limited UN presence in the areas concerned and the difficult security environment," he added.
The closed-door discussions Tuesday at the Security Council were asked by permanent council member Russia, said diplomats.
According to the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG), the fresh deployments of Turkish military equipment and experts are meant to replace a unit already deployed in northern Iraq.
KRG President Masoud Barzani said Tuesday that Turkish forces came to Iraq in coordination with Baghdad to provide military training for “Al-Hashd al-Watani” (National Mobilization) that will participate in anti-Daesh operations in Mosul.