Iraqi president promises Turkey action against PKK
Iraqi President Jalal Talabani has promised Turkey that he would take action against the banned Kurdish Workers Party (PKK), reports said Saturday. ( dpa )
Shortly before the end of his visit to Turkey, Talabani called on the Turkish government to start co-operating with the autonomous Kurdish government in northern Iraq.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey had no secret plans with regard to Iraq and instead sought to maintain the integrity of the Iraqi state, according to the reports.
Talabani began an official visit to Ankara Friday, a week after the end of a major Turkish offensive aimed at Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq.
The battle against the PKK required closer co-ordination between Ankara, Washington and Baghdad, Talabani said Saturday.
The Iraqi government has been putting pressure on the PKK to leave northern Iraq and to lay down their arms.
Turkey aims to rebuild relations between the two countries after the military offensive and improve both political and economic ties. Talabani, who is a Kurd, called Friday for a strategic partnership.
His Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul said that co-operation in the battle against terrorism would also have to be improved. Their meeting had yielded initial, important results, Gul said without elaborating.
Talabani was accompanied by several ministers and talks on political, trade, military, cultural and energy matters were to take place between working groups from both sides.
The Turkish offensive against PKK camps in the mountainous north of Iraq ended a week ago Friday, after the United States called for a swift end to the incursion.
Turkish sources allege that several thousand PKK fighters are hiding in northern Iraq. More than 240 PKK members were killed during the offensive, the army said.
Both the US and the European Union deem the PKK to be a terrorist group.