( RIA Novosti ) - U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will meet on Friday with Turkish leaders in Ankara to discuss ways of fighting terrorists, including Iraq-based separatist Kurd rebels.
Turkey's parliament sanctioned in mid-October military cross-border operations against the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), based in northern Iraq, following an earlier government request.
Although Turkish authorities say a military operation could be launched at any time, observers believe Ankara will make a final decision after a meeting in Washington between Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and U.S. President George Bush, set for November 5.
Rice is set to meet with President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Erdogan, and on Saturday will attend a foreign ministerial meeting in Istanbul involving Iraq's neighbors and permanent members of the UN Security Council.
On November 4-6 the secretary of state will hold talks with Israeli and Palestinian authorities in Jerusalem and Ramallah.
The PKK, listed by the U.S., NATO and the EU as a terrorist organization, has been fighting for autonomy status in southeast Turkey for nearly 25 years. The conflict has so far claimed about 40,000 lives. Since late September, 35 Turkish soldiers have been killed by Kurdish guerilla attacks near the Iraqi border.