Iraq vows to secure Sinjar boarder region, after Turkish warning

Iraq vows to secure Sinjar boarder region, after Turkish warning

Before arriving in Bulgaria, Mr Erdogan insisted "EU membership remains our strategic goal".

The most recent major new disagreement occurred two weeks ago when Turkey sent warships to block gas and oil exploration in Cyprus' Exclusive Economic Zone.

On Cyprus, Erdogan reiterated the Turkish Cypriot community's rights to Cyprus' resources and said the European Union had "nothing to contribute" to the dispute as long as it does not maintain a "fair" approach. The EU should support its member states.

At our meeting in Brussels past year we agreed to intensify our dialogue at different levels.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday that Turkey's intelligence chief would meet Iraqi officials to discuss an Iraqi military operation in Sinjar, a region of north Iraq that is home to the country's Yazidi minority.

Ankara considers the PYD, and its YPG armed group, to be extensions of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) which has waged a three-decade insurgency in Turkey's largely Kurdish southeast.

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President Recep Tayyip Erdogan signalled Turkey has no plans to follow its North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and European Union allies in expelling Russian diplomats following a spy poisoning in Britain blamed on Moscow, in comments published on Wednesday (March 28). So the mixed message from the European Union in recent days was "you have a right to protect your border, but don't go too far in killing or displacing civilians".

However, with regard to the military operation in Afrin, Erdogan said he expects the EU's support in dealing with terrorists.

We hope that we have left a hard period in Turkey-EU relations behind.

"We are, of course, deeply concerned about what's happening in Afrin".

"It would be a mistake for a Europe that claims to be a global power to keep Turkey outside of expansion policies", Erdogan said.

"Our operations against terrorism do not just contribute to our and the Syrians' security, but to Europe's security as well", Erdogan said.