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Iraq: Turkey Urges Region To Work To Avoid War

Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt; 5 January 2003 (RFE/RL) - Turkish Prime Minister Abdullah Gul today urged the Middle East region to "work hard to avoid" war involving Iraq. Gul was speaking at a press conference after talks in Egypt with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. He said each country of the region must do what it can to defuse tensions, and he expressed hope "that the Iraqi government cooperates" and proves its claim that Iraq is free of weapons of mass destruction.

Gul also reiterated that Turkey does not want to see Iraq divided territorially.

Gul is touring Arab states in search of a way to defuse the U.S.-British threat to attack over Iraq over its alleged development of weapons of mass destruction.

Gul, who travels next to Jordan and Saudi Arabia, said a Turkish minister of state would travel to Baghdad tomorrow to push for a peaceful settlement.