Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday that Turkey and Iraq would continue their joint fight against the Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK), the semi-official Anatolia news agency reported.
Erdogan made the remarks while meeting with his Iraqi counterpart Nuri al-Maliki at the Prime Ministry Residence in the Turkish capital of Ankara.
Erdogan expressed determination to keep fighting against PKK in cooperation with Iraq, saying that terrorism was an enemy of both Iraq and Turkey.
"Both Turkey and the central government of Iraq defined the PKKas a terrorist organization," he said, adding that the trilateral mechanism set up by Turkey, Iraq and the United States would be more active in future fight against the PKK.
During the one-hour meeting, Erdogan and Maliki discussed possible political and military steps that could be taken to prevent terrorist attacks targeting Turkey and eliminate PKK in northern Iraq.
For his part, Maliki said that Iraqi government was keen to cooperate with Turkey in various fields, stressing that the PKK should not be allowed to mar relations between Turkey and Iraq.
Maliki said Iraq needed to focus on the reconstruction and development of the country, noting that Iraq was expecting investments and support from neighboring countries.
Maliki, accompanied by six Iraqi ministers, arrived earlier on Wednesday in Ankara on an official visit.
Prior to Maliki's visit, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani said that both Baghdad and the Kurdish administration in northern Iraq were determined to eradicate PKK in its north.
"We will take necessary measures to prevent any armed people from using our territory to carry out attacks on Turkey or Iran," he said, adding that Kurdish parties in northern Iraq would soon convene to issue a joint statement demanding PKK lay down its weapons.
Maliki is scheduled to visit Iran after wrapping up his Turkish tour on Thursday morning, the report said, adding that Turkish President Abdullah Gul would pay a visit to Iraqi capital of Baghdad in January.
The PKK, listed as a terrorist group by Ankara and the international community, took up arms for self-rule in Turkey's Kurdish-dominated southeast in 1984, sparking conflicts that have claimed some 40,000 lives.
(Xinhua News Agency December 25, 2008)