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U.S. requests no more troops from Turkey to Afghanistan - Robert Gates

Other News Materials 6 February 2010 20:02 (UTC +04:00)
U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said Saturday that his country had not requested Turkey to send any new troops to Afghanistan, the semi-official Anatolia news agency reported.
U.S. requests no more troops from Turkey to Afghanistan - Robert Gates

U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said Saturday that his country had not requested Turkey to send any new troops to Afghanistan, the semi-official Anatolia news agency reported.
  
Following his meeting with Chief of Turkish General Staff Ilker Basbug in the Turkish capital of Ankara, Gates was quoted as saying that the United States was almost completely devoted to the issues of Afghanistan and the outlawed Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK), Xinhua reported.
  
He said, "we are pleased with the partnership between Turkey and the United States in Afghanistan."
  
"We are extremely pleased with Turkey's contributions in Afghanistan. We have received a promise from "allies and partners" for the deployment of 10,000 additional personnel. We pay high importance to personnel that can train individuals (Afghans) in the areas of military and security," Gates said.
  
Gates also said, "we carry a will to further develop cooperation with Turkey against the terrorist organization PKK as was set forth by former U.S. President George W. Bush back in 2007. "
  
Cooperation between Turkey and the U.S. in fighting against the PKK is getting more intense, Gates said.
  
Washington has been providing intelligence for Turkey in Ankara 's bid to destroy PKK rebels who stage terrorist attacks in Turkey from their bases in northern Iraq, according to Anatolia report.
  
Established in 1978, the PKK took up arms in 1984 to create an ethnic homeland in southeastern Turkey. Its separatist campaign has fuelled conflicts that have killed over 40,000 people in the country.
  
It is estimated that there are a total of 5,000 PKK militants, the majority of whom are holed up in northern Iraq where the PKK headquarters is situated.

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