Turkey, Iraq and U.S. Officials to Meet and Discuss PKK
Officials from the United States and Iraq will meet with Turkish Interior Minister, Besir Atalay, this week in the nation's capitol of Ankara. Although the U.S. representative remains unknown, Iraq will be sending National Security Minister Shirwan al-Waili, reported Journal of Turkish Weekly.
The parties will discuss how each can work in cooperation to combat terrorist threats from the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which operates within Turkey and has bases in Northern Iraq as well. All sides would like to stop PKK military initiatives which are being launched from Northern Iraq.
These talks are part of earlier consultations that began in November of last year, when a joint committee was formed between Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, Atalay and then US Ambassador to Iraq, Ryan Crocker.
The United States has worked with Turkey in order to assist in the issue and has offered Iraqi airspace for Turkey's aerial strikes in Northern Iraq. They have also provided intelligence on PKK activities within the country. While the administration in Iraq wishes to offer a stronger hand and condemns the terrorist group, they maintain that their authority is limited when it comes to the northern part of the country, which is Kurdish run.