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Premier Rules Out Breakup Of Iraq

Al-Maliki (left) reviewing an honor guard in Ankara today (epa) November 16, 2006 -- Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, on a visit to Turkey, said today he will do everything he can to maintain his country's territorial integrity.

Speaking in Ankara, during talks with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, al-Maliki said the oil-rich northern city of Kirkuk -- in particular -- "will stay in the possession of Iraqis."

Some Turkish officials have expressed concern that Iraq could disintegrate, resulting in the establishment of an independent Kurdistan, with Kirkuk as its capital.

Referring to Kurdish militants, al-Maliki said Iraq will not provide sanctuary to "any groups" that harm the country's neighbors.

Erdogan said Turkey is ready to help train Iraqi security forces.


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RFE/RL Iraq Report

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