Speaking at Ankara's Esenboga Airport before his departure for Iraq, Hashimi noted that he was representing "not any one group, but all of the Iraqi people. Answering a reporter's question as to whether or not he had been able to "convince" the Turkish administration not to proceed with a military operation into northern Iraq, Hashimi said "This is a sensitive matter. For as long as the terrorists continue attacks which threaten Turkey's national security, Turkey actually does have a legitimate right to pursue them. But firstly, the Baghdad administration must be given the opportunity to prevent these terrorist activities. This is primarily an Iraqi matter. Because the activities are taking place from Iraq."