“I know that the Turks want to participate, we tell them thank you, this is something the Iraqis will handle,” Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said on Saturday.
“If help is needed, we will ask for it from Turkey or from other regional countries.”
Abadi made his comments to reporters following a meeting with US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter, who was in Baghdad on Saturday.
The US has been trying to negotiate an agreement to bring an end to tensions between Baghdad and Ankara over the presence of Turkish troops on Iraqi soil and their participation in the military offensive.
Turkey has been insisting that their forces will participate in the ongoing Mosul offensive, which is led by Iraqi forces with Kurdish Peshmerga and international coalition support.
On Friday, a day after meeting the Turkish president, Carter said that Turkey and Iraq had reached an agreement “in principle” regarding the involvement of Turkish forces in the military offensive in Mosul, though the details remained to be agreed upon and Baghdad needed to give final approval.
The same day that Abadi and Carter were meeting, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan gave an impassioned speech about Mosul at the opening ceremony of the new campus of Haci Sevim Yikdiz in Bursa.
“Mosul was ours. Look at the history,” Erdogan said, as reported by Cumhuriyet.
“I’m talking about the Frontier Treaty and somebody is annoyed,” Erdogan was reported as saying. “I’m giving a lecture about history. Why are you bored? Our difference is that we are nationalists and patriots. From the beginning, we said that the keys of Iraq mustn’t be given to one ethnic group. It is what we also say for Syria. We say this to those countries who are active in the region.”