Iraq hits out at Turkey over trip to contested city

August 2, 2012 20:08


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BAGHDAD - Iraq's government on Thursday said Turkey had violated its constitution by sending its foreign minister without permission to visit a city at the heart of a dispute between Baghdad and the country's autonomous Kurdistan region.

Relations between Iraq, close to Shi'ite Iran, and Sunni Muslim regional power Turkey, were strained at the end of last year after Iraq tried to arrest one of its Sunni vice presidents and Ankara gave him refuge when he fled Iraq.

Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu visited Iraq's Kirkuk, one of the areas whose control is disputed between the Iraq Arab-led central government and ethnic Kurdish officials who run their own region to the north of the country.

Iraq said the Turkish official had gone to the city without permission from the Iraqi central government after first visiting the Kurdistan regional president in April.

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