U.N. Security Council: Iraq and Turkey must solve their problems politically, not militarily

NEW YORK / BAGHDAD – The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) expressed concern over Turkish military operations in northern Iraq, calling on both Iraq and Turkey to solve their problems by political rather than military means. For its part, the Iraqi Foreign Ministry said that all options are open to Iraq in responding to violations of Turkey’s.

“We are looking with concern at the Iraqi-Turkish border and what is going on,” said U.N. Security Council President Christoph Heusgen, noting that there is no information on whether Iraq has requested a special meeting to discuss the Turkish military operation on its territory.

Heusgen added that Turkey and Iraq must resolve their problems politically. “On Iraq and Turkey, there was no demand that this issue be part of the Security Council’s working list, and I believe that the conflict and disagreement between neighboring countries should be resolved politically, not militarily,” Heusgen said.

Iraqi Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ahmed al-Sahaf responding to the Turkish military operation, stated that, “Unilateral actions will not enhance security and will not lead to joint efforts in the face of terrorism, and all options are open to Iraq in responding to violations of its national sovereignty by Turkey.”

“Iraq has begun with a statement of condemnation, a protest note, an invitation to the Turkish as well as Iranian ambassador, and we will not stop at these steps,“ continued al-Sahaf. “We may resort to mobilizing Arab opinion through the Arab League and Islamic opinion through the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. We may come up with a complaint to the United Nations and the U.N. Security Council.