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Iraqi prime minister to go on a state visit to Turkey and Iran

Iraqi Prime Minister, Haider Al-Abadi, elected to office in September 2014 and leader of the Islamic Dawa Party is set to go on state visits to its Middle Eastern neighbours, Iran and Turkey next week.

Iran and Turkey, along with the United States of America across the Atlantic, have supported the Iraqi regime in neutralizing the fanatical Islamic State regime that had annexed parts of Iraq and Syria since 2011. While Iran had been tackling IS insurgents on its western border with Iraq, Turkey has been doing the same against the IS and Kurdish militants on its own eastern border.

Both Iran and Turkey however, are more than just partners in defence and security cooperation. Iran for instance, provides Iraq with $6 billion dollars’ worth of hydrocarbons and Iranian-produced electricity.

On the other hand, Turkey and Iraq have seen relations between them get better over the past few years, with Erdogan and Ankara pledging $5 billion dollars in business and investments and a new border crossing to improve trade. In fact today, half of the companies operating in Iraq are of Turkish origin.

Al-Abadi’s state visits come in light of a downturn in relations between the United States and both, Turkey and Iran.

The United States has voiced its concern over Turkey detaining a Christian pastor over an alleged conspiracy while it has also recently, pulled out of the Iran Nuclear Deal that has reimposed sanctions on the Persian country.

How the Iraqi Prime Minister’s visits to Iran and Turkey goes may determine whether a new, constructive trilateral partnership in the Middle East based on common ideas of trade and security cooperation takes shape.