Turkish FM: N. Iraq did not take any steps on PKK

"The region in the north of Iraq had not taken any steps on PKK so far that would inspire confidence in Turkey", Turkish FM said.

Turkish FM: N. Iraq did not take any steps on PKK
The region in the north of Iraq had not taken any steps so far that would inspire confidence in Turkey about the sincerity of their attitude towards the terrorist organisation PKK, Turkish FM Ali Babacan said late on Monday.

Babacan arrived in Washington D.C. on Monday to attend the Annapolis conference on Middle East. Babacan briefed Turkish reporters on issues regarding Turkish foreign policy.

Babacan denied allegations claiming that he had said Turkey made cooperation with Masoud Barzani regarding PKK and said, "there is a difference of tone in the recent remarks made by the administration in the north (of Iraq). We see some differences in the statements made in the last few weeks, but did they take steps that would earn our confidence? The answer to that is unfortunately: no," said FM Babacan.

When asked about news suggesting that Turkey would invite the Iraqi President Talabani along with Barzani, Babacan, "the problem with citing those two names side by side is that: Talabani is the President of the central government that we recognise. But the other name is a leading figure of a region. Putting both names side by side and inviting them is out of the question."

In the mean time, Babacan said he had a meeting with Stephen Hadley, U.S. President's Assistant for National Security Affairs before the press conference where they discussed the PKK issue as a follow up of the Erdogan-Bush meeting.

Answerin a question on the possibility of a cross border-operation, Babacan said, "all instruments are on the table. If we are going to work with someone, this is going to be the U.S.A."

Babacan said they were in the implementation process regarding intelligence-sharing and said there had been important progress in diplomatic, military and intelligence matters in the three weeks that passed since the Erdogan-Bush meeting.

Annapolis conference

Babacan attended the reception and dinner hosted by Condoleezza Rice, U.S. Secretary of State before the Annapolis Conference.

Babacan, said the Middle East was going through a critical period and said Turkey attached special importance to the Middle East.

Babacan recalled the industry zone that Turkey would build in cooperation with Israeli and Palestinian businessmen and indicated that the zone would be built near the border on Palestinian territory.

Babacan stated that they also started a project for a University and said, "a private Turkish university. We foresee educating Isreali and Palestinian students together. It will also be near the border, but this time on the Israeli territory. At the moment, we are looking for a suitable land. Inside the university campus, there will be a hospital and a medical school. Health standards in Palestine is not good. this hospital will give service to mostly Palestinians."

Babacan recalled that he talked with Israeli PM Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the reception and the dinner and said, "there was an air of optimism. At least, there is wide agreement that the talks will resume after seven years. We hope these anticipations will bear concrete results."

Answering question regarding his opinions about Hamas being left out of the Annapolis Conference, Babacan said, "we are concerned about this divided picture. Division does not help the Palestinian cause, we expect this division to be ended."


Güncelleme Tarihi: 28 Kasım 2007, 11:57