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Iraqi Government Says PKK Not Welcome


Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) fighters walk in mountains from Turkey through the border with Iraq in early May.

Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) fighters walk in mountains from Turkey through the border with Iraq in early May.

Iraq's central government has said it would not accept armed groups entering its territory as Kurdish militants began withdrawing from Turkey under a peace deal with Ankara.

Under the peace deal, Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) fighters should cross from Turkey, where they have been fighting for Kurdish rights for three decades, into Iraqi Kurdistan.

Iraqi Kurds were involved in the talks with Turkey.

The Iraqi Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the presence of armed Kurdish groups could be used "to impact the security and stability of Iraq or neighboring states."

Baghdad, however, has little control over its autonomous Kurdish region.

As well as controlling Iraq's border with Turkey, the Kurdistan Regional Government is fiercely defensive of its internal boundary with the rest of the country run by Baghdad.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AP
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