Special report: Tension escalates in
ANKARA, Oct. 17 (Xinhua) -- Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri
al-Maliki called Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday,
saying his government was committed to ending the presence of the outlawed
Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK) and its activities in northern Iraq, the
semi-official Anatolia news agency reported.
The Iraqi government "is absolutely determined to end
the activities and the presence of the PKK terrorist organization on Iraqi
territory," Anatolia quoted Maliki as saying.
Maliki stated that his government has given a strict
order to the Kurdish autonomous regional administration in the north of Iraq to
that end, according to the report.
The report said Maliki had asked Erdogan for "another
chance" as Iraq has set up a special delegation for the issue.
Erdogan was quoted as saying that he could meet with
the Iraqi delegation but his country cannot "endure any further loss of time,"
reiterating Turkey's resolute stance towards taking any measure against the
The phone conversation between Erdogan and Miliki
came just several hours before the Turkish parliament is expected to discuss and
approve a motion for a cross-border operation to fight against the PKK in
On Tuesday, Maliki said his government would send a
high-level political and security team to Turkey to discuss the border tensions
between the two nations.
"The Iraqi government will send a high-level
political and security delegation to Turkey to hold talks over the recent
security developments on the borders between the two countries," Maliki said in
a statement issued by his office.
On Monday, Turkish government spokesman and Deputy
Prime Minister Cemil Cicek said the motion was only targeted at the PKK and it
would be valid for one year.
Last Friday, Erdogan said that Turkey has long been
seeking the cooperation with Iraq and the United States in its fight against the
PKK, but there has been no tangible crackdown on the rebels.
The PKK has increased its attacks on government
troops in southeastern Turkey, which led to rising Turkish demands for an
incursion into northern Iraq to crush the rebels based there.
The group, listed as a terrorist organization by
Turkey, the United States and the European Union, launched an armed campaign for
an ethnic homeland in the mainly Kurdish southeastern Turkey in 1984, sparking
decades of strife that has claimed more than 30,000 lives.
Iraqi VP vows to cooperate with Turkey
ANKARA, Oct. 16 (Xinhua) -- Visiting Iraqi Vice President
Tariq Al-Hashimi said here on Tuesday that Iraqi administration is ready to
cooperate with Turkey in its fight against the outlawed Kurdish Workers' Party
Al-Hashimi made the remarks at his meeting with
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the Turkish capital of Ankara,
during which they discussed over the issue of PKK terrorist organization.