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    Talabani: If the US pulls out of Iraq, nothing will keep Turkey from entering region

    Hürriyet Haber
    13.09.2005 - 00:00 | Son Güncelleme: 13.09.2005 - 00:01

    Iraqi State President Jelal Talabani, in statements made to the Russian press, used strong words in referring to Turkey and Russia. Speaking with the Russian Komersant newspaper, Talabani asserted that Russia was not following a realistic policy in its request that US forces pull out of Iraq. Said Talabani, "If US soldiers pull out of Iraq tomorrow, who will prevent Turkey from entering Northern Iraq under the auspices of protecting local Turkmens? And who will prevent Syria?" Talabani reserved criticism for Russia's stance towards Iraq, saying "Russia is still not engaging in friendly politics with us. If Russia does not change its stance soon, it can forget about trade with Iraq."  Talabani noted that a period of new realities had begun in the post-Saddam atmosphere of Iraq, saying "Iraq's neighbor Turkey, claiming it is defending the Turkmen in Kirkuk, indicates that it has some rights over Kirkuk. In the same way, both Syria and Iran have their eyes on Iraqi soil. And if Russia does not change its views, which are left over from the Saddam era, any effect it might have on the region will completely disappear."
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