11/02/2007, 00.00
TURKEY – IRAQ
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Rice in Ankara to stop Turkish attack in Kurdistan

US Secretary will meet Turkey’s president and prime minister. She is also scheduled to meet three-way with Turkish and Iraqi foreign ministers to find a common strategy against PKK “terrorists.”

Ankara (AsiaNews) – Diplomatic activity is intense to prevent Turkey from invading Iraqi Kurdistan as part of its fight against the PKK, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party.  US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and United Nations Secretary General Ban ki-moon have arrived today in Turkey for talks that would avert an attack by 100,000 Turkish troops currently massed along the border with Iraq. Iraq’s foreign minister Hoshyar Zebari is expected to attend the meeting as well.

Ms Rice is scheduled to meet first Turkey’s President Abdullah Gül and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who should be in Washington next Monday for talks with US President George W. Bush, than take part in three-way talks with her Turkish and Iraqi counterparts.

“Anything that would destabilise the north of Iraq is not going to be in Turkey's interests, it is not going to be in our interests and it is not going to be in the Iraqis' interests,” Ms Rice said. Her goal is to develop a common strategy against the PKK threat, considered by the United States a terrorist organisation.

A few days ago the United States announced that it was co-operating with Turkey in its fight against the PKK, providing information on its bases and pressing Baghdad to stop any type of protection from Iraqi Kurdish authorities.

The Americans are also concerned about Iran, whose foreign minister, Manouchehr Mottaki, visited the Turkish capital of Ankara.

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