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Kurdistan Regional Government calls on Turkey to withdraw troops

Statement by the Kurdistan Regional Government
22 February 2008

 

Erbil, Kurdistan – Iraq (KRG.org) The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) condemns yesterday’s military operations in the Kurdistan Region in Iraq and joins the federal Iraqi government in Baghdad in calling on Turkey to end its violation of Iraqi sovereignty.

 

It is imperative that Turkey immediately withdraw its military forces from the Kurdistan Region in Iraq.

 

Turkey has sought a military solution to the problem of the PKK for 24 years. This approach has not worked; the problem can only be solved through dialogue and diplomacy.

 

The KRG in no way supports the PKK. The KRG has taken significant steps to restrict the PKK’s ability to act inside the region. It calls for immediate four-party talks between Washington, Ankara, Baghdad and Erbil to solve this issue.

 

The United States, the United Nations, the European Union and others with long-standing and vested interests in the political stability of Iraq should join the KRG in pressing for an immediate Turkish withdrawal, together with a commitment by all parties to a comprehensive solution to the problem.

 

The people of the Kurdistan Region in Iraq must not yet again be made to suffer as a result of what is in reality an internal Turkish political issue.