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Middle East
Turkey and Iraq sign security deal
Agreement aims to combat Kurdish fighters, but does not allow Turkey to enter Iraq.
Last Modified: 28 Sep 2007 11:34 GMT
Besir Atalay, Turkey's interior minister, said the deal was aimed at 'primarily the PKK' [EPA]
Turkey and Iraq have signed an accord in Ankara to deal with separatist Kurdish fighters who have been attacking Turkey from bases in Iraq, but it does not allow for Turkish troops to enter Iraq.
 
The deal, broadcast live on television on Friday, was signed by Jawad al-Bolani, Iraq's interior minister, and his Turkish counterpart Besir Atalay.
The deal is aimed at combating the Kurdistan Workers' party (PKK).
 
But Atalay said: "It was not possible to reach a deal on chasing Kurdish rebels, however, we hope this issue will be solved in the future. We are expecting this cooperation against terrorism to be broadened as much as possible."

Extradition

Atalay said that under the accord, the two countries pledged to "prevent the activities of terrorist organisations and primarily the PKK".

The countries committed themselves to the capture and extradition of members of such groups and to prevent them spreading their message through the media.

The separatist PKK is listed as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the United States and a number of other countries.

It has been accused of using bases in northern Iraq to mount attacks across the border against Turkish targets.

'Hot pursuit'

Under a draft provision, which the two countries were unable to finalise, Turkey would be allowed, with prior Iraqi authorisation, to conduct "hot pursuit", or small-scale military operations across the border to hunt down PKK fighters.

Iraqi Kurds, who have been accused by Ankara of tolerating and even aiding the PKK, raised objections to the provision.

The Turkish government has threatened unilateral military action into northern Iraq to attack at PKK bases if Iraq and the US fail to curb the fighters.

On Thursday, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey's prime minister, urged Washington to act against the PKK, saying that continued inaction was harming US relations with his country.

Source:
Agencies
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