report: Tension escalates in
Military trucks carry tanks in the
province of Hakkari, near the Turkish-Iraqi border, southeastern Turkey
Oct. 22, 2007.(Xinhua/AFP Photo)
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
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
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