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Iraq: Governing Council Objects To Turkish Deployment

Baghdad, 8 October 2003 (RFE/RL) -- Members of Iraq's Governing Council are objecting to Turkey's decision to send soldiers into Iraq at the request of the United States. Council head Iyad Allawi said they planned to meet with U.S. administrator L. Paul Bremer in Baghdad today to discuss the deployment.

U.S. State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said the disagreement "can be worked out because Turkish troops can make a contribution to stability."

"We welcome the approval in the Turkish parliament of the Turkish government's initiative to send troops to the stability force in Iraq. The United States believes that Turkish troops would contribute to stability in Iraq and we'll be consulting closely with the Turkish government over the details of the Turkish participation," Boucher said.

Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari and other Kurds on the U.S.-appointed Governing Council voiced particularly strong objections to the deployment from a neighboring country with a history of disputes with Iraqis.

Council member Nasir Kamil Chadirchi said sending Turkish troops would delay Iraq's sovereignty. But Zebari noted that the U.S. occupation force has the final say on security matters.