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    US presidential candidate Obama wants Turkish-Iraqi Kurdish summit

    HotNewsTurkey Staff
    24 Ekim 2008 - 12:22Son Güncelleme : 24 Ekim 2008 - 12:29

    U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama proposed a Turkish-Iraqi Kurdish leaders summit that would seek a comprehensive agreement regarding outstanding issues.

    The views of Obama, and his vice presidential candidate Sen. Joe Biden, on relations with Turkey were part of the Democratic ticket's position paper on major foreign, economic and domestic policies, released on the candidate's website recently.

    Obama said Bush's misguided, mismanaged Iraq intervention worsened the PKK problem. He pledged that if elected he will work to restore Washington's strained relationship with Turkey.

    "Barack Obama and Joe Biden believe that a close relationship with a stable, democratic, Western-oriented Republic of Turkey is an important U.S. national interest," the paper said. It added that this relationship had been deeply strained in recent years, “most importantly by the Bush administration's misguided and mismanaged intervention in Iraq, which has helped revive the terrorist threat posed to Turkey by the separatist Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK)," the paper said.

    "The result is that this strategically important NATO ally (Turkey), the most advanced democracy in the Muslim world, is turning against the West -- in recent polls only 12 percent of Turks had a favorable opinion of the United States," it said.

    "Barack Obama and Joe Biden will lead a diplomatic effort to bring together Turkish and Iraqi Kurdish leaders and negotiate a comprehensive agreement that deals with the PKK threat, guarantees Turkey's territorial integrity, and facilitates badly needed Turkish investment in and trade with the Kurds of northern Iraq," the paper said.

    It said Obama and Biden would also help promote democracy, human rights, and freedom of expression in Turkey and support the country's efforts to join the European Union.

    "Obama's call for top-level talks between Turkish and Iraqi Kurdish leaders, with no mention of the central Baghdad government, will raise eyebrows in Ankara, which already has concerns over Iraqi Kurdish independence," one analyst in Washington told the Turkish Daily News (TDN).

    "This reflects Biden's earlier calls for splitting Iraq into three parts – one of them Kurdish – under a very loose confederation," said the analyst.

    The paper also said Obama and Biden would lead efforts to create a just and lasting political settlement in Cyprus.

    Obama and Biden "believe strongly that Cyprus should remain a single country in which each of the two communities on the island is able to exercise substantial political authority in its own geographical zone," it said.

    A solution "would help foster better Greek-Turkish relations, strengthen Turkish democracy, reduce the risk of military conflict and remove a major obstacle to Turkish membership in the EU," it said.




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