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 Iraqi Kurdistan government angry at Turkey-Iraq deal

 Source : AFP
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Iraqi Kurdistan government angry at Turkey-Iraq deal  1.10.2007

October 1, 2007

Erbil-Hewler, Kurdistan region 'Iraq',-- The government of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region expressed its anger on Saturday at being kept in the dark about an agreement between Baghdad and Ankara to crack down on rebel Turkish Kurds.

The accord was signed on Friday in Turkey’s capital by Iraqi Interior Minister Jawad al-Bolani and his Turkish counterpart Besir Atalay.

“It would have been better if someone had told us what was going to be in the agreement,” Falah Mustafa Bakir, head of the Kurdish Regional Government’s foreign affairs department, said in a statement posted on the KRG’s website.

“We are talking about a new democratic, federal Iraq not the Iraq of dictatorship and one-party rule,” he said. Turkey says the separatist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) enjoys free movement in northern Iraq, where it has long taken refuge, and obtains weapons and explosives there for attacks across the border.

Turkey, the United States and much of the international community list the PKK as a terrorist group.

Since 1984 the PKK took up arms for self-rule in the country's mainly Kurdish southeast of Turkey. Turkey is home to over 25 million ethnic Kurds.

Atalay said Friday that the two sides had failed to agree on a proposed provision concerning “the strengthening of security and cooperation in border areas” and that negotiations would continue.

A draft provision sought by Ankara would have reportedly allowed Turkey with Iraqi authorisation to conduct “hot pursuit”, or small-scale military operations across the border to hunt PKK militants.

But the Iraqi Kurds, who run Kurdistan region 'northern Iraq' and have been accused by Ankara of tolerating and even aiding the PKK, raised objections to the provision, according to media reports.

Iraqi Kurdish politician says, Turkey is using a Kurdish separatist PKK rebel group as an excuse to invade Kurdistan region 'Iraq' to prevent the establishment of Kurdistan state in Kurdistan autonomous region in 'northern Iraq'.

Ankara is anxious to prevent the emergence of a Kurdish state in Kurdistan region 'northern Iraq', fearing this could fan separatism among its own large Kurdish population in southeast Turkey.



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