World / Middle East

China calls for dialogue on Iraq-Turkey tension

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-12-09 21:05

BEIJING - China on Wednesday called for better coordination and dialogue as Iraq demanded Turkey withdraw its troops from northern Iraq.

"China is closely following the development of the incident. We noticed that defense ministers of Turkey and Iraq talked over phone about the matter," said Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying at a press briefing.

Iraq's sovereignty and territorial integrity should be respected, she said.

China urges state-to-state relations be handled in accordance with the UN Charter and basic norms of international relations, said the spokeswoman.

In the face of a grave terrorism situation, all parties should fight terrorism, and give full play to the leading role of the UN and its Security Council, Hua said.

All anti-terror operations should be carried out under international law, respect relevant UN Security Council resolutions, have the consent of countries concerned and truly help maintain peace and stability, she said.

The crisis was triggered over the weekend as reports stated that a Turkish training battalion, equipped with armored vehicles, was deployed near the city of Mosul in order to train Iraqi paramilitary groups against Islamic State militants.

Ankara claimed that sending troops to Iraq was in response to increased skirmishes with the IS in Mosul, the capital of Nineveh province which has been under IS control since June 2014.

Iraq on Tuesday said its sovereignty is a "red line" which neighboring Turkey must respect, rejecting the deployment of Turkish troops in northern Iraq without a prior agreement between the two countries.

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