Monday, June 12, 2006

Turkey-Iraq discuss Kirkuk status

15:28 - 09 June 2006
"Kirkuk should be given special status," Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said during a meeting with Iraqi Deputy Premier Barham Salih. Erdogan put down Turkey's expectations over establishment of stability and security atmosphere in Iraq after formation of new government in that country and particularly reiterated Turkey's known views pertaining to status of Kirkuk. Erdogan also pointed to the risks in Iraq caused by ethnical structurings [as received], and noted that territorial integrity and unity of Iraq were very important for Turkey. Erdogan and Salih also discussed improvement of commercial relations between Turkey and Iraq as well as the problems in border passes. Salih in his part said Iraq's territorial integrity would definitely be protected, stating that, "Kirkuk is also the problem of Iraq. It will absolutely reach a fair solution." Erdogan also explained Turkey's uneasiness over the PKK issue. Salih in his part said, "PKK is a threat also for us. Turkey's security is our security. Necessary measures will be taken."