Turkish President Abdullah Gul said Tuesday he welcomed Iraqi President Jalal Talabani's remarks regarding the terror organization PKK, but added it was necessary to wait for tangible results. He also said he planned to visit Iraq in January. (UPDATED)
Talabani, himself a Kurd, said Monday he was hopeful that the PKK would lay down arms against Turkey. Iraqi Kurds are determined to stop the PKK terrorists from using their territory for attacks on Turkey, he added.
"The main aim for me, Barzani (the leader of Kurdish regional administration in northern Iraq) and other politicians is persuading those in the mountains to lay down arms and engage in political dialogue," Talabani told in an interview with Turkish media.
The Turkish president also said he would visit the neighboring country in January. Gul had canceled a previously planned visit to Iraq last week due to health problems.
The security issues, in particular the fight against the PKK, would be discussed during Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's Ankara visit on Wednesday, Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan told a joint press conference with his Georgian counterpart Grigol Mgalobishvili.
Turkey launched a new phase of diplomacy with the decision to hold direct contacts with the regional administration, retreating from its position to reject dialogue with Erbil, who it accused of supporting the PKK.
Turkey and Iraq have established a Strategic Cooperation High Council to promote relations and to deal with the terror organization PKK. The Council foresees at least one meeting a year with prime ministers, and three representatives at the ministerial level.