PM: Iraq committed to end PKK's presence in N Iraq 2007-10-17 20:17:27   Print

Special report: Tension escalates in Iraq

    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 terrorist organization.

    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 northern Iraq.

    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 against PKK

    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 (PKK).

    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.  Full story

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Editor: Bi Mingxin
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