The United States will step up cooperation with Turkey and Iraq against the Kurdistan Workers Party, or P.K.K., terrorist group. U.S. National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley said P.K.K. terrorism was discussed "at length" with Iraq's foreign minister and other Iraqi officials during Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's meeting with President Bush:
"We have talked about establishing a trilateral framework between the United States, Iraq, and Turkey to address these issues. We have already identified some steps that can be taken and that the Iraqis are going to take, which they, I'm sure, will be announcing in due course. We have communicated to the Turks -- one, we recognize the seriousness of the problem, that Turkish citizens and Turkish security forces are dying as a result of the activities of the P.K.K. We left no doubt that we view it as a terrorist organization. We have proposed that it be addressed in this trilateral context. I think the Turks are comfortable with that. And there have to be concrete steps that we can take to show both Iraqis and Turks that there is a plan to deal with that problem. And that is something we have to address more aggressively. The President [Bush] has made that assurance to [Turkey's] Prime Minister [Recep Tayyip] Erdogan, and I think he was relieved. Now we've got to deliver on it."
Thousands of P.K.K. terrorists are hiding in northern Iraq, where they train and conduct attacks on Turkey. "We have expressed many times that we won't let any force use the Kurdistan region to launch attacks on Iraq's neighbors," says Massoud Barzani, president of Iraq's Kurdistan region. U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says the U.S. will work with Iraq to stop any terrorist activity:
"We've also been very clear that we do not want the territory of northern Iraq to be used for P.K.K. or other terrorist operations against Turkey."
The United States stands by its ally Turkey and is committed to the elimination of the threat of P.K.K. terrorism.
The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.