Turkey to reopen its consulates in Iraq's Basra and Mosul

BAGHDAD (AP) — Turkey's foreign minister says his country will reopen its consulates in the Iraqi cities of Basra and Mosul and pursue deeper economic and commercial ties with its neighbor.

Mevlut Cavusoglu visited Iraq on Thursday to meet with newly appointed President Barham Salih and Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi. Turkey exported more than $9 billion in goods to Iraq in 2017.

Turkey closed its Mosul consulate in 2014 after Islamic State militants overran the northern Iraqi city and kidnapped 49 Turkish diplomats. Cavusoglu said the Basra consulate was also closed for security reasons.

The foreign minister said Turkey would continue to prosecute its 'war on terror' in the region. Turkey has previously targeted Kurdish targets in northern Iraq belonging to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which Ankara says is a terror organization.