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    Turkey snubs report on Iraqi Kurd hopes

    Daily News with wires
    11.07.2009 - 00:00 | Son Güncelleme:

    ISTANBUL - Ankara has rejected a recent report suggesting Iraqi Kurds might consider joining Turkey, saying the country’s borders are not subject to debate. "Turkey’s borders are set. It would not be correct to stick in such discussions," Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Burak Özügergin said Friday, also underscoring the importance of Iraq’s territorial integrity, the state-run Anatolia news agency reported.

    The International Crisis Group, or ICG, a Brussels-based American think tank, issued a report titled "Iraq and the Kurds: Trouble Along the Trigger Line" that said Kurdish leaders have been talking openly since 2007 about the need to deal with Turkey.

    The report also quoted an unnamed Kurdish official as saying, "We have the right to be independent, but if that doesn’t work out, then I’d rather be with Turkey than Iraq." It also quoted Fuad Hussein, the chief of staff of Massoud Barzani, the leader of the regional administration in northern Iraq, as saying that if the Shiites choose Iran, and the Sunnis choose the Arab world, then the Kurds would have to ally themselves with Turkey.

    Parliament Speaker Köksal Toptan, echoing Özügergin’s views, ruled out any intention to act in line with the report, private broadcaster CNNTürk reported. "I don’t think this signals a change in the Middle East. They are just claims," Toptan was quoted as saying in response to the report. Toptan said Turkey’s ties with the region would continue in the same vein.

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