Iraqi FM vows to help Turkey in fighting Kurdish rebels 2007-10-23 19:03:55   Print

    Special report: Tension escalates in Iraq

Military trucks carry tanks in the province of Hakkari, near the Turkish-Iraqi border, southeastern Turkey Oct. 22, 2007.

Military trucks carry tanks in the province of Hakkari, near the Turkish-Iraqi border, southeastern Turkey Oct. 22, 2007.(Xinhua/AFP Photo)
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    BAGHDAD, Oct. 23 (Xinhua) -- Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari vowed on Tuesday to help Turkey crack down on the banned Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK) taking refuge in northern Iraq.

    After talks with his counterpart Ali Babacan, Zebari told reporters in a joint news conference that his government would "actively help Turkey overcome this menace."

    "We have a common position to fight terrorism wherever it is, we will not allow any party or any group, including the PKK, to poison our bilateral relations," Zebari said.

    For his part, Babacan said that his country has historical relations with Iraq, but "the situation in northern Iraq, especially, the existence of the PKK" was unfortunate.

    The Turkish top diplomat said the PKK have killed thousands of people and "only during one month they killed 42 people."

    Babacan also said that his country rejected the conditional ceasefire offered by the PKK on Monday, underlining that Ankara did not deal with a "terror" group.

    "This issue of ceasefire is an issue between two countries and two armies and not with a terror organization. The issue is of terrorism," he said.

    However, Babacan expressed his keenness that his country does not want to "sacrifice its cultural and economic relations with Iraq for the sake of a terror organization."

    Babacan is also scheduled to meet the Iraqi Kurdish President Jalal Talabani and prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki. The PKK said late on Monday that its group would observe a unilateral ceasefire with the Turkish troops on the Iraq-Turkey borders as of Monday evening.

    But Abdul Rahman al-jadarje, in charge of the PKK foreign affairs, conditioned the ceasefire with the response from the Turkish side, saying, "The ceasefire will be an open-ended one as long as Turkish troops exercise restraint. If they attack us, the nwe will defend ourselves."

    Last week, the Turkish parliament approved a motion submitted by the Turkish government for military incursion into neighboring Iraq to crack down on elements of the PKK based there.

    Turkish FM rejects ceasefire by PKK

    BAGHDAD, Oct. 23 (Xinhua) -- Visiting Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan on Tuesday rejected the ceasefire offered by the Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK), saying there's no "ceasefire" with terror.

    Babacan made the remarks at a joint press conference with his Iraqi counterpart Hoshyar Zebari after their talks over the crisis on the two countries' borders caused by the PKK rebels. Full story

    Senior member of PKK confirms ceasefire to be observed this evening

    BAGHDAD, Oct. 22 (Xinhua) -- A unilateral ceasefire with Turkish government would be observed as of this evening, a senior member of the Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK) in charge of foreign relations told Xinhua on Monday.

    Abid Al-rahman Aljadarje said, "I can confirm that our group will observe a unilateral ceasefire as of this evening," but he didn't disclose how long the truce would last. Full story

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Editor: Lin Li
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