World Bulletin / News Desk
Jailed PKK militant leader Abdullah Ocalan envisages the withdrawal of his militants from Turkey by August under a draft peace plan sent to his group's leadership and Kurdish politicians, media reports said on Wednesday.
Held in an island jail since his capture in 1999, Ocalan has been negotiating with Turkey's government since October the outlines of a deal to end a conflict which has killed 40,000 people since his militants took up arms in 1984.
Under the draft plan, to which his Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) is expected to respond within two weeks, the militants would begin a formal ceasefire on March 21 and complete their withdrawal by August, said the Sabah and Star newspapers, which are close to the government.
This timetable is dependent on Turkey passing reforms boosting Kurdish minority rights. The newspaper reports said Ocalan's plan proposed maintaining Turkey's unitary structure, with no demand for Kurdish autonomy. The reports could not immediately be confirmed.
Repeating his call to avert further bloodshed and keep the peace process on track, Ocalan said his hopes of a solution had been boosted.
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