Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said on Friday that Turkey is becoming a “hostile state” in the region, accusing its premier of interfering in internal Iraqi affairs and of sectarianism.
“The latest statements of (Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip) Erdogan are another return to the process of interfering in Iraqi internal affairs and it confirms that Mr Erdogan is still living the illusion of regional hegemony,” Maliki said in a statement posted on his website.
“It is regrettable that his statements have a sectarian dimension which he used to deny before but which have become clear, and are rejected by all Iraqis,” Maliki said.
“Insisting on continuing these internal and regional policies will damage Turkey’s interests and makes it a hostile state for all,” he said.
After closed-door talks on Thursday with Massud Barzani, the president of the autonomous Kurdistan region in north Iraq, Erdogan stoked further tensions with Iraq by accusing Maliki of taking an “egocentric approach” in politics.
“The current prime minister’s treatment toward his coalition partners, his egocentric approach within Iraqi politics... seriously concern Shiite groups, Mr Barzani and the Iraqiya group,” the main Sunni-backed political bloc, Erdogan was quoted by local media as saying.