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Turkish Leader Says Iraq A Terrorist Training Ground

Prime Minister Erdogan (file photo) (epa) 8 December 2005 -- Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan says the U.S.-led intervention in Iraq has had the effect of turning Iraq into a training ground for terrorists.

Erdogan, speaking today on a visit to Sydney, said military action is not an effective way, by itself, to combat militants. Erdogan said intelligence sharing among agencies was the best way to prevent extremist attacks.

Erdogan spoke after talks with Australian Prime Minister John Howard, a strong supporter of the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq. Australia sent 2,000 troops to participate in the 2003 invasion and still has hundreds of troops in the country.

In earlier remarks, Howard praised Erdogan for his support in the war on terror and said he wished Turkey well in its bid for membership in the European Union.