Turkey to provide Iraq $5 billion loan, says foreign minister

Turkey will provide a loan of $5 billion to Iraq for the reconstruction of the war-torn country, state-run Anadolu news agency reported Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu as saying on Sunday.

“We made the biggest commitment to Iraq,” Çavuşoğlu said during a meeting organized by the Beyoğlu Municipality in Istanbul, noting that Turkish business people will utilize this loan for their projects in Iraq.

Çavuşoğlu’s announcement arrives as Turkey expands its operations against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in the region amid violent protests by local Kurds frustrated with what they say are civilian casualties in Turkey’s raids.

Çavuşoğlu said that he is set to visit the Iraqi capital Baghdad and Erbil, the administrative capital of Kurdish regional government (KRG).

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is expected to follow suit following local elections slated for March 31.

Iraq was Turkey’s fourth largest export partner in 2017, according to the Foreign Ministry, which said that Turkey expected the trade volume with Iraq to reach over $12 billion in the upcoming years.