US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice arrived in Ankara on
Tuesday for a two-day visit to Turkey with cooperation on fighting
an outlawed Kurdish rebel group and Iran's nuclear issue top on the
agenda, semi-official Anatolia news agency reported.
Received by Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer and Turkish
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Rice was expected to hold
talks with Turkish officials over Turkish demands for closer
cooperation against the outlawed Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK)based
in northern Iraq and Iran's disputed nuclear issue.
"The principal context in which we have to deal with the PKK
problem at this point is to make certain that there is a stable
security situation in the north (of Iraq) and to enlist the new
Iraqi government to work with the Turks and with the United States
in dealing with the PKK," Rice was quoted by Anatolia news agency
"We want to do it in a way that does not cause greater
instability in the north (of Iraq)," Rice said.
Turkey wants the United States to take more steps against the
PKK bases in Iraq as the rebels stepped up attacks in the
Rice's visit comes amid increasing Turkish troop deployment near
the border with Iraq and Iran and reports saying that the Turkish
military is preparing for a cross-border operation into Iraq to
strike PKK bases.
As for the Iranian nuclear dispute, Rice responded to a
statement by Iran's supreme leader that Tehran was prepared to
share its nuclear technology with other countries. "We have to be
concerned when there are statements from Iran that Iran would not
only have this technology, but would share it, share technology and
expertise," Rice told a news conference in Ankara.
Rice said that Turks are supporting the UN Security Council
action and they are sending a similar message to the Iranians. "We
see Turkey, as having a strong anchor in democracy, a strong anchor
in European traditions, but also having a great deal to say to the
future of the Middle East and to be a part of that future as well,"
Turkey, who opposes an extensive economic boycott or a military
operation against Iran, favored a diplomatic solution to Iran's
Rice is currently on a European tour. She will wrap up her visit
in Ankara on Wednesday morning and head to Bulgaria for a meeting
of NATO foreign ministers.
(Xinhua News Agency April 26, 2006)