Turkey to send FM to Iraq to de-escalate tensions

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu attends a news conference in Ankara. (File photo: Reuters)

Turkey’s foreign minister is set to visit Iraq on Thursday in a mission to ease tensions following the Iranian missile attacks on US-led forces, said a statement from the Turkish foreign ministry on Wednesday.

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu will travel to Iraq as part of Ankara’s “intensified diplomatic efforts to alleviate the escalated tension in the aftermath of recent developments in the region,” the ministry said in a statement.

Cavusoglu also spoke to Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif by phone, it said in a separate statement.

US forces killed Tehran’s most prominent military commander Qassem Soleimani last week, prompting Iran to promise revenge. Iranian state television said Iran had fired 15 missiles at US targets in Iraq early on Wednesday.

Cavusoglu said on Monday that Turkey was in contact with all parties in the region and Washington to de-escalate tensions, adding that Ankara would work to help solve the issue.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 10:05 - GMT 07:05