US President George W. Bush met with Turkish Prime Minister
Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the White House on Monday, vowing to step
up efforts to fight against Kurdish rebels hiding in North
Describing Turkey's Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) as "an enemy
of Turkey, a free Iraq and the United States," Bush said "I made it
very clear to the prime minister that we want to work in a close
way to deal with this problem."
Speaking to reporters after talks with Erdogan, Bush said top US
military figures would be in more regular contact with their
Turkish counterparts in an effort to track the movement of the PKK
Bush announced a new three-way military partnership grouping the
United States, Turkey and Iraq to improve the sharing of
intelligence on the PKK militants.
"Faulty intelligence means that we can't solve the problem.
Good, sound intelligence, delivered on a real-time basis, using
modern technology, will make it much easier to deal effectively"
with the PKK, said Bush.
The Bush administration have been trying to stop a possible
Turkish incursion into Iraq to hunt for anti-government PKK
militants, which, the White House believes, could bring instability
to what has been the calmest part of Iraq and could set a precedent
for other countries, such as Iran, that have conflicts with Kurdish
Stressing the need for a diplomatic solution between Turkey and
Iraq, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice visited Turkey last
week, having promised to redouble efforts against the PKK.
However, Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan made clear
Turkey's government was not satisfied.
Bush dismissed at the new briefing questions about the
possibility of Turkey attacking Iraq as hypothetical.
"It's fine to speculate about what may or may not happen," Bush
said. "But nothing can happen until you get good intelligence. We
need to know where people are hiding, and we need to know what
In his remarks, Erdogan, who insists that the Turkish government
has the authority to mount an incursion into Iraq if necessary, did
not give further indication of his intentions.
Instead, he followed Bush's example, emphasizing its cooperation
with the United States.
"As strategic partners, we are fighting jointly against
international terrorism in the world," Erdogan said.
(Xinhua News Agency November 6, 2007)