Erdogan warns Bush: Kirkuk must be awarded special status
In the meeting between Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and US President George W. Bush yesterday, the subject of the Northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk did arise, in light of the Kurdish-backed push to have Kirkuk added to the autonomous Kurdish-run region of Northern Iraq. PM Erdogan expressed concern on this issue to Bush, noting that the Ankara stance was that Kirkuk should be awarded a special status.
Following on this, Foreign Minister shared with Bush a report that Ankara had prepared on this subject. Noted Erdogan, "If the special status is not awarded to Kirkuk, there could be some serious problems."
At a press conference following the Oval Office meeting, Erdogan again touched on Kirkuk, telling reporters: "If Kirkuk falls prey to an unexpected results in the 2007 referendums in Iraq, it could become a sources of serious problems in the country. We told Bush this. He agreed with us."
Erdogan also touched on the subject of the ongoing tragedy in the Darfur region of Sudan, noting to Bush that he had witnessed it with his own eyes on a recent visit there. Said Bush at the joint press conference "We have already expressed our deep desire to help the people in Darfur. Prime Minister Erdogan shared with me what he saw of the human situation there recently on a visit. It is important that the United Nations and different government work hard to finish this tragedy."