Iraq-Turkey: 'Hot pursuit' issue unresolved in security deal

Istanbul, 28 Sept. (AKI) - Iraq and Turkey will sign a security agreement on Friday to fight Turkish Kurd rebels taking refuge in northern Iraq.

However Turkey’s push for a right to pursue the separatist Kurdish PKK militants inside northern Iraq was refused by the Iraqi interior minister Jawad Bolani, who has been in Ankara for the past three days negotiating the security deal between the two countries.

Turkish and Iraqi delegations are set to sign the treaty in a bid to stop separatist Kurdish militants from launching attacks on Turkish targets from northern Iraq.

The discussions halted after the two sides could not agree on the article allowing Turkish troops to conduct operations in northern Iraq.

According to the final resolution reached, this article will not be in the text of the deal. According to diplomatic sources, both sides agreed to tackle the disagreement in later phases.

Kurdish authorities in northern Iraq had expressed their concerns about such treatment that would allow Turkish troops to enter their territory.

“The agreement would not be valid unless it is approved by the Kurdish parliament,” said Kemal Kirkuki, the vice speaker of Kurdish parliament in northern Iraq on Wednesday.

At a meeting with Turkish foreign minister Ali Babacan in New York on Tuesday, Iraqi foreign minister Hoshyar Zebari who is also a Kurd, warned that “there would be problems about such a treaty unless it is studied carefully”.

While the details about the treaty have not been revealed, it was expected to define the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) as a terrorist organisation and establish bilateral mechanisms of cooperation against the organisation.

In the twenty-year conflict between the Turkish Army and the PKK an estimated 30,000 people have lost their lives. Since the beginning of 2007, about 80 Turkish soldiers have been killed.


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