Turkey Holds Talks With Iran Amid Assault Against PKK in Iraq
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu will meet his Iranian counterpart to discuss the region after Turkey sent troops into northern Iraq to fight the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK.
Ali Akbar Salehi will be in Turkey today, the Turkish Foreign Ministry in Ankara said in an e-mailed statement. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed yesterday to destroy the PKK, classed by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union as a terrorist organization, after a series of attacks in southeastern Turkey killed 30 soldiers and policemen.
The meeting comes as Erdogan calls on the international community to aid Turkish efforts in combating terrorism, gaining support from President Barack Obama, the EU and Iraqi Kurdistan. While Iran condemned the PKK’s attacks, it has said Turkey’s decision to host a radar as part of a North Atlantic Treaty Organization missile shield creates tensions and will lead to complications.
“We are currently cooperating with Iran to counter the terrorist organization’s activities,” Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc told reporters last week. “Our friendship ties are good and we get the support we need from Iran.”
Iraq and Iran last week said they set up a joint “security committee” to fight PKK affiliate Party for a Free Life in Kurdistan, or PJAK, which is active in Iran.
Nechirvan Barzani, deputy chairman of Iraqi Kurdistan President Massoud Barzani’s party, said yesterday after meeting Davutoglu that the regional government will expand cooperation with Turkey.
The pledge of support contrasts with the authorities in Baghdad. After the PKK’s most recent assault, Labeed Abbawi, Iraq’s deputy foreign minister, said his government opposes “the shelling and the direct interference” by Turkey.
To contact the reporter on this story: Emre Peker in Ankara at firstname.lastname@example.org
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