Turkey, Iraq and U.S. to form committee to combat PKK terrorists

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Turkey, Iraq and U.S. to form committee to combat PKK terrorists
Oluşturulma Tarihi: Kasım 19, 2008 10:32

Turkey, Iraq and the United States agreed Wednesday to form a joint committee to combat the terror organziation PKK, which uses northern Iraq as a base for attacks on Turkey. (UPDATED)

The committee will track the threat represented by the PKK to the security and the stability of Turkey and Iraq, Iraqi government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said in a statement.


It will also "enact forceful measures to stop all activities undertaken by this organization inside Iraqi territory or in any region adjacent to the Turkish-Iraqi border," Dabbagh was quoted by AFP as saying.


The announcement followed a meeting in Baghdad to discuss the plan between U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker, visiting Turkish Interior Minister Besir Atalay and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

Officials from the regional Kurdish administration in northern Iraq were also expected to attend the talks.

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"Turkey is an important neighbor and what harms Turkey harms us," Maliki said in the statement. "Our joint efforts will be more active in confronting this terrorist organization."

Turkey, provided with intelligence by the United States, stepped up its campaign to crackdown on the PKK both inside Turkey and in northern Iraq, after the terror organization increased its attacks on Turkish soldiers, as well as civilians.

Turkish officials say around 2,000 PKK terrorists are holed up in the mountains of northern Iraq, where they enjoy free movement and use the region to launch cross-border attacks.

The top U.S. commander in Iraq, General Ray Odierno, visited Turkey last month to discuss efforts to fight the PKK. Turkish officials have also visited Baghdad to discuss the issue in recent weeks.

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The recently signed security pact between the United States and Iraq was also expected to be discussed during the talks

The Iraqi cabinet approved a pact, which would require all U.S. troops to leave the country by 2011, on Sunday and passed it to parliament, which was to hold an up-or-down vote on the deal on Nov. 24.

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan also said Tuesday Maliki would send an Iraqi minister to Turkey as a special representative, and they would discuss the U.S.-Iraq security pact.



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