Iraq's Defence Minister General Abdel
Qader Jassim (C) and National Security Minister Shirwan al-Waili (R) leave
the Esenboga Airport upon their arrival in Ankara Oct. 25, 2007. An Iraqi
team, led by Jassim and including members of northern Iraq's Kurdish
administration, arrived in Ankara for talks which Turkish officials
described as a last chance for diplomacy.(Xinhua/Reuters
ANKARA, Oct. 26 (Xinhua) -- Mohammad Asghari,
spokesman for the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, said Friday that the talks between
Turkish and Iraqi executives in Ankara are positive.
"Talks are on the right track," he told reporters in
the Turkish capital, adding the two sides are having an important meeting for a
couple of hours.
Turkish and Iraqi officials began holding talks
earlier on Friday, seeking to avert a Turkish incursion against Kurd rebels in
The talks began shortly before 10 a.m. (0700 GMT)
between visiting Iraqi Defense Minister Abdel Qader al-Ubaidi and National
Security Minister Shirwan al-Waeli and Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan and
Interior Minister Besir Atalay.
Al-Ubaidi, leading a high-level Iraqi delegation,
arrived in Ankara on Thursday to discuss ways with Turkish officials to defuse
the current border tension posed by the Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK), Turkey's
semi-official Anatolia news agency reported.
The delegation also includes Security Minister
Shirwan al-Waili, Iraqi Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) representative Safeen
Dizayee and Ministry of Interior Affairs Under secretary Aydin Khalit, Anatolia
The visit came as Turkey continues a military buildup
along the Iraqi border ahead of a possible incursion into northern Iraq to crush
the PKK camps there.
Turkish parliament approved on Oct. 17 a government motion backing a
cross-border operation into northern Iraq for pursuing PKK militants, straining
the relations between the two neighboring countries.
Turkish commandos secure the area as
they patrol a road in the southeastern Turkish province of Hakkari, near
Iraqi border, Oct. 26, 2007. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)
The PKK, which has been fighting more than 20 years
for an independent Kurdish country in southern Turkey, further fueled the
tension on Sunday by killing 12 Turkish soldiers in a deadly ambush.
ANKARA, Oct. 26 (Xinhua) -- Turkish helicopters
continued to carry troops to the border regions with northern Iraq on Friday,
the semi-official Anatolia news agency reported.
According to the report, the helicopters carrying
troops took off from town of Yuksekova in southeastern province of Hakkari
andheaded for Daglica region. Full story
Iraqi delegation in last-ditch effort to seek diplomatic solution to border crisis
ANKARA, Oct. 25 (Xinhua) -- A high-level Iraqi delegation arrived in Ankara on Thursday to discuss steps Turkey and Iraq can take to ease tension along their borders and eradicate presence of the Kurdish Workers' Party's (PKK) in Iraq.
The delegation is led by Iraqi Defense Minister Abdul Qadir al-Ubaidi and Security Minister Shirwan al-Waili, Iraqi Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) representative Safeen Dizayee and Ministry of Interior Affairs Under Secretary Aydin Khalit, Turkey's semi-official Anatolia news agency reported. Full story
Turkish PM: Turkey has right to attack
Kurdish rebels in N Iraq
BUCHAREST, Oct. 25 (Xinhua) -- Turkey has the right
to intervene in northern Iraq against the Kurdish rebels and, should the
situation call for it, the Turkish security forces will not hesitate to take
these measures, the visiting Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said
here on Thursday.
After his meeting with his Romanian counterpart Calin
Popescu-Tariceanu, Erdogan stressed it is his country's right to fight against
terrorism. Full story
Iraq: Syria to mediate between Iraq, Turkey
DAMASCUS, Oct. 25 (Xinhua) -- Visiting Iraqi Parliament Speaker Mahmoud al-Mashhadani said here on Thursday that Syria will launch a plan to mediate between Iraq and Turkey to ease tension along their borders and the plan will be announced once it is completed.
"There is a meditation project that will be announced when its conditions are completed," Mashhadani said in a statement to reporters. Full story
Turkey government troops repulse PKK
ANKARA, Oct. 25 (Xinhua) -- Turkish security
officials said Thursday that government troops with tanks and artillery have
repulsed an attack by a group of Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) militants near
the Iraqi border.
Up to 40 attackers targeted Turkish gendarmes, or
paramilitary police, at a military post in the mountainous Hakkari province near
the border late on Wednesday, said the officials, adding the militants withdrew
back into northern Iraq after heavy clashes. The officials gave no more details
about casualties. Full