( AP ) - Iraq's president insisted Friday that Kurdish rebels would not be tolerated inside its borders as he sought to allay tensions following neighboring Turkey's eight-day military mission inside Iraq.
Speaking during a visit to Turkey, Jalal Talabani said Iraq was continuing to put pressure on Kurdish rebels to lay down their arms and said the two countries would discuss wide-ranging security measures to combat their threat.
The visit by Talabani, himself a Kurd, reflected diplomatic efforts to ease tensions after an operation that some had feared could spill into a wider conflict between two U.S. allies. The Turkish military ended its offensive a week ago against Kurdish rebels who launch attacks on Turkey from bases in northern Iraq.
" Iraq wants strategic and solid relations with Turkey," Talabani said.
"We have exerted pressure. Either they should lay down arms or they should leave the area," Talabani said. "We are going to discuss wide-ranging security agreements."
Turkish President Abdullah Gul called on the rebels to lay down their arms, saying Turkey will never tolerate those who engage in terrorism.
Turkey launched its cross-border ground operation against rebels from the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, on Feb. 21. It pulled out eight days later.
Turkey is concerned that the example set by the Iraqi Kurds, who run a virtual mini-state within Iraq, could encourage Turkey's own Kurdish population to seek a similar arrangement.
During Turkey's ground incursion, Iraq demanded an immediate withdrawal and warned of the potential for clashes between Turkish troops and security forces of the semiautonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq.
The Turkish military, which is receiving U.S. intelligence, said it inflicted heavy losses on a large group of rebels in Iraq's Zap region. The PKK has disputed the claim.
The PKK has said it wants political and cultural autonomy for the predominantly Kurdish region of southeastern Turkey. The conflict started in 1984 and has killed tens of thousands of people.