NEW YORK, Dec 9 (KUNA) -- Iraq's permanent representative to UN Ambassador Mohammad Al-Hakim said Baghdad and Ankara are "solving" the issue of Turkish troopsآ’ presence in North Iraq in a bilateral manner.
Emerging from the Security Council meeting that was held behind closed doors, Al-Hakim affirmed to the press that Russia has raised the issue without consulting with Baghdad, and that his country has not yet brought it up officially at the United Nations. "When we need we have letters available to the Security Council but they have not been issued by Baghdad yet," he added.
However, Al-Hakim stressed "what has come across the border must go back," alluding to scores of Turkish troops and military personnel that have recently crossed the Iraq-Turkish border, deploying at locations close to Mosul.
Earlier, UN Secretary Generalآ’s deputy spokesman Farhan Haq said the UN has done its utmost to establish the facts to the extent possible, notwithstanding the limited UN presence in the areas concerned and the difficult security environment. "At this stage, we understand that Turkish and Iraqi officials at the highest levels are currently in close contact with each other in an effort to defuse tensions and, of course, the United Nations encourages both sides to resolve this issue bilaterally through constructive dialogue," he added. (end) mao.rk