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    Turkey claims neighbors cover up bird flu

    Hürriyet Haber
    21.01.2006 - 14:38 | Son Güncelleme:

    Turkey claimed on Friday that neighboring countries were covering up outbreaks of bird flu, hampering efforts to contain the virus."The presence of the disease in several other countries -- our neighbors governed by closed regimes -- is known unofficially, but those countries do not declare it openly," Agriculture Minister Mehdi Eker told a meeting here with governors from Turkey's 81 provinces. "Governors in border provinces should take this into account in their efforts against the disease," he said, without giving names.

    The worst affected areas of Turkey share borders with Iran, which has already started a culling process, also Armenia, Azerbaijan autonomous republic of Nachichivan and Georgia. The region which border Syria has also detected cases of bird flu.

    On European borders lay Bulgaria and Greece.

    A team of US experts, meanwhile, travelled to Turkey's east to assess the situation and see what assistance Washington could offer.

    "We are here to learn about what is happening and what has been done," Ann Derse, the head of the delegation, said in the eastern city of Erzurum, the Anatolia news agency reported.

    "We are also looking into how the United States, a strong friend and ally of Turkey, can help," she said.

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