Kurds call for talks with Turkey

Thursday 18 October 2007 18.00
Iraq - Kurdish appeal
Iraq - Kurdish appeal

Iraq's regional Kurdish government has called for direct talks with Ankara after the Turkish parliament authorised a military incursion into its territory to crack down on militants.

The Kurdistan Regional Government said that an incursion would be detrimental to Iraq, Turkey and the Middle East.

Implicitly denouncing the actions of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, which has bases in northern Iraq, the Kurdish authorities in Arbil condemned the killing of innocent people in Turkey and said violence did not solve any problems.

The appeal came a day after the Iraqi central government said the PKK issue was one of national security and that all statements should come from Baghdad.

The PKK has waged a campaign for Kurdish self-rule in southeast Turkey since 1984 that has claimed more than 37,000 lives.

Turkey says the PKK enjoys freedom of movement in northern Iraq and is tolerated if not supported by the regional government, something the latter strongly denies.