CAIRO, Dec. 24 (Xinhua) — The Arab League demanded in a ministerial meeting in Cairo on Thursday an immediate Turkish unconditional withdrawal from the Iraqi territories, the Egyptian state TV reported.
In the meeting at the level of Arab foreign ministers requested by Baghdad, Arab League Secretary-General Nabil al-Araby described the deployment of Turkish troops in Iraq as “clear violation of the international law.”
Turkey has recently announced that it had started withdrawing its troops from Iraq following a call from U.S. President Barack Obama, yet the Iraqi foreign minister insisted that the immediate withdrawal needs to be practically done in action not statement.
“We differentiate between a statement of withdrawal and real evacuation from the Iraqi territories,” Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari told a press conference following the meeting.
“It is possible for any Turkish official to announce that Turkey has decided to withdraw its troops, which is easy and maybe fast to say. But our irrevocable decision is the necessity of immediate withdrawal,” Jaafari stressed.
Earlier in December, Ankara deployed forces in a base in Iraq for a training program to fight against the Islamic State (IS) militant group.
“We have inherited a lot of IS members from different parts of the world, and 40 percent of the Iraqi territories were under their control, which now declined to 17 percent due to the Iraqi strikes,” the Iraqi foreign minister continued, “It’s the Iraqis alone who run the battle against the IS in Iraq.”
In its final statement following the meeting, the Arab League council of foreign ministers expressed support for the Iraqi relevant procedures that seek withdrawal of the Turkish troops from its territories.
“The council denounces the Turkish military incursion into the Iraq lands as an aggression against Iraqi sovereignty and a threat to the Arab national security,” the council’s statement said, demanding immediate and unconditional Turkish withdrawal from the turmoil-stricken Arab country.
It also demanded the Arab League chief to officially convey their decision to the UN Security Council chief and to follow up the relevant Iraqi official request submitted to the Security Council.