Press TV- Baghdad and Ankara have finally reached an agreement over the withdrawal of Turkish forces from an Iraqi town near Mosul. The announcement made by Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi after a visit to Baghdad by Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, is being seen as a step towards resolving the dispute between the two sides over Turkey’s military deployment on Iraqi territory.
In an interview with Press TV, Mark Weber, the director of the Institute for Historical Review, said that this agreement can be construed as another step, after the Aleppo ceasefire agreement, by Turkish officials to amend their ties with regional countries and, by extension, with Russia.
“It is significant as part of a larger trend toward better and closer cooperation [between] and other countries in the region, including Iraq and, by extension, with Russia, Iran and Syria. That’s part of a trend that has been going and we’ve seen this elsewhere as well. I think the reason behind all that was the decision by President Erdogan to restore better ties with Russia after the breakdown of relations over the shooting down of a Russian airplane,” Weber argued.
He further explained that this agreement is part of a larger, long-term realignment of power in the region, as the influence of Russia and Iran is increasing and the power of the United States continues to decline.
“Turkey, of course, is trying to do what it thinks is in its best interest but its best interest will be served in the long run by closer ties with other countries in the region and the loosening of ties with the United States because the US power and influence in the region is definitely declining,” Weber noted.
Just a few weeks ago, the Turkish president said he was unhappy with Ankara’s relations with Washington, the analyst recalled.
He, however, underlined that Turkey is still a member of the US-led NATO alliance and it becomes very difficult for Ankara to embrace a really independent foreign policy at the moment.
Last year, Turkey deployed about 500 troops to the Bashiqa camp near the Iraqi city of Mosul, saying it was wary of potential attacks by the Takfiri Daesh terrorists based in the city.
Iraq repeatedly urged Turkey to withdraw its forces or risk a potential military confrontation.