Saturday, November 26, 2005

Turkmen leader Ergec makes first official visit to Turkey

Iraqi Turkmen Front (ITF) Chairman Sadettin Ergec yesterday made his first foreign visit to Turkey at his new post to have several meetings. The visit drew much attention as it's taking place ahead of the Iraqi elections on Dec. 15, and following the meeting in Erbil between Iraqi Kurdistan region President Massoud Barzani and Emre Taner, the undersecretary of the Turkish National Intelligence Organization (MIT), before the Kurdish leader left for the U.S. Ergec was welcomed at Esenboga Airport in Ankara by representatives from the Turkish Foreign Ministry, the ITF, and the Turkmeneli Association for Cooperation and Culture. Delivering a speech at the welcoming ceremony, Ergec stated that the aim of his visit is to share with Turkish officials the latest developments in Iraq in accordance with the results of the Iraqi Reconciliation Conference that was held in Cairo, Egypt earlier this week.

Ankara Urges Turkmen Groups to Unite

By Suleyman Kurt
Published: Saturday, November 26, 2005
Before the Iraqi elections on December 15, Ankara called Turkmen groups in this country to "unite and go to the elections together" for a more powerful representation.
On Friday, Foreign Minister Abdulah Gul communicated this call to Iraqi Turkmen Front (ITC) Chairman Sadettin Ergec, who makes official visits to Ankara. Ergec attended a meeting for reconciliation among ethnic and sectarian groups in Egypt last week and now is having contacts in Ankara before returning to Iraq.
Ergec reportedly informed Ankara about the Turkmen stance before the critical election and Gul pointed out Turkmen’s must be powerful in the elections to correct the situation both Ankara and the Turkmen’s are uneasy of.
Gul asserted Turkey's support continues. "If the Turkmen are at peace in Iraq it means we are at peace, too. Go to the elections under one umbrella. Act in the consciousness of Iraqiness, contribute in the country's unity and integrity," he said to ITC chairman. Ergec in return communicated they will form an alliance only in Musul (Mosul) and they will struggle "under their own flag" in other provinces. Both parties shared also their worries about Kerkuk (Kirkuk) in the talk.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Most Iraqis Reject Annexing Kirkuk to Kurdistan

In a survey conducted by Al Madina Independent Center for Surveys in Iraq, two thirds of Iraqi opposed annexing the northern province of Kirkuk, which is rich in oil, to Kurdistan region. They stressed the necessity of the participation of all constituents of the people in the coming government. They expected that this government would succeed in achieving security.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Tentative deal struck at Cairo talks

Turkoman politician Abbas al-Bayyati said of the draft "It is included in the text that an immediate withdrawal is not required right now but that it should be done in a gradual way."

Iraq leaders demand pullout timetable

Iraqi leaders have put persistent differences to one side and agreed on their first joint statement, calling for a timetable for the withdrawal of foreign troops from the country.

Kurds accused of rigging Kirkuk vote

Turkmen and Arab political parties in the Iraqi city of Kirkuk have accused Kurds of fixing the result of provincial elections held on the 30 January.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Irresponsible on Iraq

Sunday, November 20, 2005; Page B06
A SERIOUS congressional debate about Iraq is essential at a time when public support for the mission is falling and the danger of failure seems great. Aggressive challenges to the Bush administration's military and political strategy -- even calls for an immediate withdrawal of troops, such as that made by