A PKK fighter in Iraq near the Turkish border in June (AFP)
July 9, 2007 -- Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari says Turkey has gathered 140,000 troops on its northern border, and he asked Ankara to give Baghdad more time to deal with Kurdish rebels.
"We are trying to defuse the situation, to work closely with the Turkish government, and we believe the best way is to revive the working group, or the security working group, that is made up of the United States, Iraq, and Turkey to address all Turkish legitimate security concerns over the PKK," Zebari said.
He added that "the Iraqi government's position, it is definitely opposed to any military incursion or any violations of Iraqi sovereignty and territorial integrity."
Reports say Turkey's armed forces have urged the government to authorize an incursion into northern Iraq to pursue Kurdish militants.
The United States said today it shared Turkish concerns about Kurdish separatist fighters in northern Iraq, but urged Ankara no to take military action.
(Reuters, AFP, AP)