Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi reiterated their commitment to creating a second border crossing linking their two countries today following wide-ranging talks in Ankara. Speaking at a news conference, both leaders underlined the importance of what Abadi called a “direct link” with Turkey. It would be established in addition to an existing border gate that has been run by the Kurdistan Regional Government since the fall of Saddam Hussain in 2003.
“Concerning the border crossing between the two countries in Fish Kabur, we are working on it. It is important for us for it to be a direct crossing,” Abadi said. His words suggest that he views the Iraqi Kurdistan Region as separate from Iraq, even though he viscerally opposed the Iraqi Kurds' ill-fated referendum on independence that was held and overwhelmingly approved last fall.