News Centre –TDO- As a part of TOBB University’s Diplomacy and Peace Seminars series, Dr. Hisham Al-Alawi gave a seminar titled “Iraq-Turkey Relations: Challenges, Opportunities and the Way Forward” on 17 January. Many students, academics and officials from other embassies attended to the event that attracted great attention.

The Ambassador, who are moving towards to the end of his term of duty in Turkey, stated that Turkey and Iraq have cultural, historical and geographical similarities that draw the two countries closer. He also pointed out that they have common threats such as DAESH and PKK, which at times brought challenges to the relationships but also paved way for cooperation opportunities.

Among the challenges the Ambassador pointed out were the Turkish oil import from the Iraqi Kurds, presence of Turkish soldiers in Bashika, the differences in the stand of point against the Syria issue and finally the use of Tigris and Euphrates.

He also pointed out some areas of opportunity to enhance the relationships such as cooperation in military, security and counterterrorism, advancing economic ties and trade relations and forming more energy deals. The Ambassador stated that Iraqi government is pursuing and agenda to diversify its economy and engage more in industrial, agricultural production and tourism. He said the Iraq could use the help and cooperation of Turkey.

The Ambassador concluded the seminar by highlighting the five main points of Iraq’s vision for the way forward for the countries of the region. These included promoting peace and political stability, strengthening person to person relations, providing the region’s young population with opportunities to speak their minds, economic integration and standing together against the threat of foreign invasions.