Turkey ups pressure over Kurdish rebels
(Reuters) - Turkey stepped up pressure on the United States to help curb attacks by Kurdish rebels from northern Iraq ahead of a conference of Iraq's neighbours and major powers on Saturday seeking to lower cross-border tensions.
The so-called "neighbours' conference", hosted by Turkey in Istanbul, was meant to focus on security inside Iraq but instead it is overshadowed by tensions between Turkey and Iraq over PKK attacks launched from the north of the country.
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, on a two-day crisis trip to Turkey, has pressed Turkey to show restraint, fearing a big incursion would destabilise the region and complicate the U.S. mission in Iraq.
She has promised more action from the United States but provided scant details on how far Washington was prepared to go except to offer improved intelligence-sharing on the PKK.
Turkey is growing increasingly impatient at what it sees as U.S. foot-dragging over the threat from the separatist Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).
"This is where the words end and action needs to start," Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan said on Friday after meeting Rice.
No major announcements are expected during Rice's visit, or at the conference, partly because she does not want to upstage a meeting on Monday in Washington between Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and President George W. Bush.
"For some concrete steps (on the PKK), we are still focused on the meeting between Bush and Erdogan on November 5," a Turkish diplomatic source said.