Turkey and Iraq reached consensus on details of an agreement
aiming to combat terror and will sign it on Thursday, the
semi-official Anatolia news agency reported on Wednesday.
Turkish Interior Minister Besir Atalay held a 90-minute-longtalk
in the Turkish capital of Ankara with his Iraqi counterpart Jawad
al-Bulani, who arrived here Tuesday, on the agreement to join
forces in fight against the outlawed Kurdish Workers' Party
Iraqi Interior Ministry Undersecretary Aydin Khalid was quoted
as saying that no problem remains regarding the agreement and that
it will be signed on Thursday.
Al-Bolani said that "We do not accept any person or any group
that is against Turkey," adding that Baghdad was willing to improve
bilateral relations with Turkey in all fields.
"I am here to further develop our bilateral ties and ready to
discuss anything," noted Bolani, who leads other top officers from
the Chief of General Staff and the intelligence services.
Bolani's visit follows the signing of a memorandum of
understanding between Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and his
Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan in August that paved the
way for the agreement.
Turkish diplomats are rushing to convince Iraq to finalize talks
and to sign the agreement that would enable the two countries to
cooperate in the fight against terrorism.
Ankara threatened military incursion into northern Iraq to
strike the PKK base if Baghdad and Washington fail to curb the
terrorists, who notably stepped up their attacks inside Turkey this
Turkey has accused the forces of Massoud Barzani, heads of the
autonomous Kurdish administration in northern Iraq, of tolerating
the group and even supplying it with weapons, possibly including
ammunition received from the United States.
In June, the Turkish army said there were some 5,000 PKK
militants in total, an estimated 2,800 to 3,100 of them based in
The PKK has increased attacks on Turkish troops in southeastern
Turkey in recent months, which led to rising Turkish demands for an
incursion into northern Iraq to crush the rebels based there.
The group, listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US
and the EU, launched an armed campaign for an ethnic homeland in
the mainly Kurdish southeastern Turkey in 1984, sparking decades of
strife that has claimed more than 30,000 lives.
(Xinhua News Agency September 27, 2007)