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Rice On PKK Terrorism

Rice On PKK Terrorism
Rice On PKK Terrorism

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says Iraqi, Turkish, and U.S. authorities should work together to stop attacks from Iraq into Turkey by Kurdish terrorists known as the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK.:

"The activities of the PKK threaten to undo the stability of the north, which clearly has resulted in deaths in Turkey. This is a circumstance in which the United States has constantly counseled that we need an overall, comprehensive approach to this problem, that no one should do anything that threatens to destabilize the north."

Secretary of State Rice made the comments during a visit to Baghdad, where she met with Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari. Mr. Zebari said the Iraqi government "appreciates the security concerns that Turkey has about the PKK:

"We want security and stability in Iraq and with Iraq's neighbors also in the border areas. PKK has conducted terrorist activities against Turkish interests and civilians and their presence is not acceptable."

Turkey has carried out air strikes and ground assaults against PKK terrorists in northern Iraq. Secretary of State Rice commented on the fighting:

"We have made clear to the Turkish government that we continue to be concerned about anything that could lead to innocent civilian casualties or to a destabilization of the north."

In an effort to stop the PKK attacks, Turkey and Iraq signed an agreement to disrupt terrorist financial and logistical support, capture and extradite terrorists, and counteract terrorist propaganda. Nechirvan Barzani is Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq. He says he will continue to lead efforts to curb PKK activities, including cutting off the group's supplies.

President George W. Bush said the United States is committed to working closely with Turkey and Iraq to stop PKK terrorists. “PKK is a terrorist organization," said Mr. Bush. "They’re an enemy of Turkey, they’re an enemy of Iraq, and they’re an enemy of the United States."