Turkish Customs and Trade Minister Bülent Tüfenkçi said on Thursday that Turkey had reached an agreement with Iraq on opening a second border gate.
“Most of our trade is with the central government of Baghdad, not with northern Iraq, and there is consensus on the opening of a second border gate with the central Iraqi government. After the necessary steps are taken, the Ovaköy border gate can be opened,” said Tüfenkci.
The Ovaköy border gate, an alternative to the Habur border crossing located between Turkey and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq, will bypass the Masoud Barzani administration.
The construction of the planned gate, which would be near the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, will begin once the necessary security measures are taken.
"Once steps are taken to secure the path, there is no other obstacle for us," the minister said.
Tüfenkçi also discussed trade ties between Turkey and the U.S. “Turkey is not a country that can be forsaken in terms of trade. The U.S. is aware of this,” he said.
“The EU was founded on commercial interests. If they want fair competition, they should not resort to economic blackmail. The EU’s sanction claims that transformed into political blackmail are immoral,” Tüfenkci said.