ISTANBUL, Sept. 18 (Xinhua) -- Turkey and Iraq have decided to ink 40 agreements next month for strategic cooperation between the two countries at the first ministerial meeting here on Friday.
These agreements, memorandum of understanding and protocols will be signed by the two governments when Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan visits Baghdad next month, the two foreign ministers told a press conference after the two-day close-door meeting at the Ciragan Palace.
A total of 20 ministers, 11 from the Iraqi government and nine from the Turkish government, explored the areas of strategic cooperation at the first ministerial meeting of Turkey-Iraq High-Level Strategic Cooperation.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari presided the meeting focusing on cooperation in economy and security.
At first, nine ministers from both countries held a joint meeting. Ideas were exchanged on joint goals. Later on, every ministry held separate meetings and had consultations on how joint projects could be realized.
The strategic cooperation covers a wide range of fields, including security, energy, trade, water, agriculture, health and infrastructure.
As the host of the meeting, Davutoglu claimed the meeting successful and the strategic cooperation will be beneficial to the two countries and the whole region.
Speaking to reporters, the Turkish foreign minister said that it was an historical day in Turkish-Iraqi relations and the region. A new partnership model has been implemented today (Friday).
The agreement signed aims to implement the joint potential of the two countries after a while and does not limit relations to only economic cooperation, Davutoglu noted.
"I am pleased to express that there is no topic on which we have disagreements (with Iraq). We have decided to sign over 40 agreements, memorandum of understanding and protocol," the minister said.
"We hope that these agreements, memorandum of understanding and protocol will be finalized in Baghdad during the inter-governmental meeting to be co-chaired by our respective prime ministers," he added at the press conference.
His Iraqi counterpart Zebari said the meeting was very important and productive. The two countries have potential for cooperation.
He also highlighted the strategic cooperation against terrorism and water supply by the Turkish government.
Referring to the military action against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, Zebari said that the Iraqi government will try to eradicate terrorism under the mechanism by the United States, Iraq and Turkey.
However, he said that PKK members reside in rural areas and the Iraqi government does not have control over members of any group or organization.
Turkey, Iraq and the United States are cooperating in the fight against the PKK, which is considered a terrorist organization by Washington, the European Union and Turkey. Washington is providing Turkey with crucial intelligence needed to hit terrorist bases in northern Iraq.
Turkish and Iraqi officials have also decided to cooperate on issues such as the activation of Iraq's agricultural infrastructure, transfer of agricultural technology and R&D activities in the agriculture sector.
Officials also underscored the importance of finding regional solutions to global problems such as climate change, drought, temperature rise and water shortage, which are currently more effective in the region where Turkey and Iraq are located.