Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday pledged to help Iraq overcome its 'difficulties' after talks with his counterpart during his first trip to the war-torn nation. "I assure that the Turkish government will stand beside you and will support you," said Erdogan at a joint news conference with Iraqi premier Nuri al-Maliki after the two had met in the heavily-fortified Green Zone. "I salute the people of Iraq with whom we have lived together for long. Be optimistic that this difficult situation will pass. Inshallah (God Willing) you will find me always beside you to defeat your difficulties."