Iraq says to cooperate with Turkey on security

Published 21.10.2011 10:50

Iraq on Thursday condemned a terrorist assault near its border that killed 24 Turkish soldiers and said it would cooperate with Turkey on maintaining security to prevent such attacks in the future.

Turkey has been conducting a series of air and ground raids for months along its mountainous border with Iraq against the PKK and has accused its neighbor of not doing enough to crack down on PKK terrorists.
The PKK has been waging a 27-year-old war from inside northern Iraq where it is well-entrenched in refuges.
"The Iraqi government condemns the PKK terrorist acts... and confirms again that Iraq will not be a shelter and harbor any foreign terrorist armed groups," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
"The Iraqi government and the Regional Government are committed to maintaining border security and security cooperation with the Turkish government to prevent such acts from being repeated."
On Wednesday, 24 young soldiers were killed by PKK terrorists in one of the deadliest attacks in years.
Iraqi officials in Baghdad say it is difficult for them to control the rugged area where PKK terrorists have their camps. Turkish, Iraqi and U.S. officials meet often on security.
In a sign of deep mistrust, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu told his Iraqi counterpart Hoshiyar Zebari during a phone conversation on Wednesday: "It is not time to condemn, it is time to take concrete steps," according to Turkish officials.
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Yesterday, Vice-President of the Kurdistan Democratic Party Nejirvan Barzani paid a visit to Foreign Affairs Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and was later accepted by Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan.
During a meeting which lasted for two hours held in the Foreign Ministry, Davutoğlu expressed that Turkey has 'reached the end of its patience. If you do not cooperate with us against the PKK situated along the border, then we will be unable to continue the collaboration we have embarked upon together since 2008."
Barzani stated, "We are together with Turkey on this. My presence here is an indicator of this. Our President Massoud Barzani will also be visiting Ankara as soon as possible. This incident should in no way be a reason for Turkish and Kurdish relations to fall apart. We want our collaboration to continue and strengthen. I am here to discuss any form of collaboration we can do in this situation."

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