Talabani and Barzani hold press conference in northern Iraq on PKK violence and possbile Ankara reaction

Hürriyet Haber
22 Ekim 2007 - 09:38Son Güncelleme : 22 Ekim 2007 - 10:37

Iraqi President Jelal Talabani and the leader of the Kurdish regional authority in northern Iraq, Massoud Barzani, met yesterday in the northern Iraqi city of Selahadin in regards to the recent spike in PKK terror activities aimed at Turkish soil.

At a press conference following the meeting, Talabani noted that Ankara's request that known PKK leaders residing in Iraqi territory be turned over to Turkey was to be denied, saying "The idea of PKK leaders being turned over to Turkey is a dream which will never come true." He went on:
 
"We will turn over not a single Kurd to Turkey, in fact, not even a Kurdish cat. The PKK leaders are living in the rugged mountains of Kurdistan. Despite all of its strength and its latest technology, the Turkish military has not been able to wipe them out or capture them. How it is that we are now supposed to turn them over to Turkey?"
 
Talabani did go on to note that he had made calls in the past for the PKK to leave off its violence and to turn instead to peaceful political alternatives, noting "If they insist on warring, they must depart from Kurdistan and Iraq, and they need to stop causing problems here. They need to return to their country, and do whatever they want there."
 
For his part, Massoud Barzani spoke yesterday about the regional Kurdish authority's view of the PKK terror organization, noting "If Turkey were to present the PKK with a plan for peace, and if the PKK were to reject it, then we would count the PKK as a terror organization, but at this point, this is just not the situation."
 
Both Talabani and Barzani clarified yesterday that in the event of over the border struggles between Turkey and the PKK, they would not be taking any particular side.

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