Turkish FM says US, Iraq dialogue to fight PKK failed

Turkey Materials 18 October 2007 16:35

( IHA ) - The Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan was in Egypt for the first leg of his Egypt-Lebanon tour on Thursday. Speaking after a meeting with the Egyptian President Hosni Mobarak, Ali Babacan reiterated Turkey's determination against terrorism.

Babacan said they talked about regional issues including Iraq, Palestinian territories, Israel and the upcoming Lebanese elections and exchanged views. He said he underlined the importance of regional cooperation against terror.

Responding to reporters' questions about the latest developments between Turkey and Iraq over a possible cross-border operation into northern Iraq against the PKK who are believed to be based here, Babacan said Turkey supported the political and territorial integrity of Iraq, adding, "Terror is a phenomenon the world needs to fight together. Turkey is a country subjected to attacks by the terrorist organisation PKK. We lost 30 citizens in one month. We have been in cooperation with the United States and the Iraqi administration in our struggle against the PKK but the problem has not resolved, on the contrary, it has grown larger. Yesterday, the Turkish Grand National Assembly authorised the Turkish government to use armed forces to conduct cross-border operations when needed, only targeting the terrorist organisation and terrorists. Turkey's Iraq policies are very clear. Turkey strongly supports Iraq's political unity as well as the preservation of its land integrity."

The Turkish FM stated, " Turkey, as it has been up to now, would continue to work to protect the peace and prosperity of our Kurdish, Arab and Turkoman brothers and sisters in Iraq. We will discuss a wide range of issues involving Iraq's future in November's Iraqi Neighbouring Countries convention in Istanbul. Our concern is nothing else but terror and terrorist organisations".

Ali Babacan said that Turkey would maintain its dialogue and cooperation with the Iraqi government and the United States in its fight against terror and terrorist organisations, adding, "Our determination to fight terror is solid. Nobody should test our determination."