BAGHDAD, Oct. 3 (Xinhua) -- The Iraqi Foreign Ministry on Monday rejected recent comments by the Turkish president over Ankara's willingness to join in the imminent battle to flush out Islamic State (IS) militants from their last major stronghold in Mosul.
"The Iraqi Foreign Ministry rejects the repeated comments made by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan about the battle to liberate Mosul," a ministry spokesman said in a statement.
Such comments "represent a blatant interference in Iraqi internal affairs and a violation of principles in bilateral relations and good neighborliness," the spokesman said in the online statement.
Ankara has ignored Baghdad's repeated calls for withdrawing Turkish troops deployed on Iraqi territories, he added.
The Iraqi statement came after Erdogan's comments on Saturday during a parliamentary session, in which Turkish legislators voted for an extension of the mandate of Turkish forces in Syria and Iraq for one more year.
The mandate, given to the Turkish armed forces in 2014, was last extended for one year in September 2015.
Erdogan said Mosul could be freed from IS militants but warned that Ankara had to be involved in any operation and be included in the decision-making process.
"Turkey cannot be left off the table. The others don't have such a border (with Iraq)," he said. "They may want us to stay as spectators but that decision is also going to be made here."
The deployment of hundreds of Turkish troops in northern Iraq, however, has caused a row between Turkey and Iraq as Baghdad repeatedly said that the Turkish forces had entered Iraqi territories without the knowledge of the Iraqi government, which viewed their presence as a violation of the country's sovereignty.
However, the Turkish government said that withdrawing Turkish troops from Iraq is out of the question and that the Turkish soldiers are in Iraq as part of an international mission to train and equip Iraqi forces fighting the IS group.