Turkey's top political leaders and military commanders have discussed relations with neighboring Iraq and given the green light for talks with Iraqi Kurds after having refused for several years to have dialogue with the Kurdish groups on suspicion that they support the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).
"Activities in the legislative field, which constitutes the basis of national consensus in Iraq, and developments toward restoration of Iraq's standing in the region have been assessed, and it has been considered that it will be beneficial to continue consultations with all Iraqi groups and movements," a statement released after a regular meeting of the National Security Council (MGK) said yesterday afternoon.
The statement also said prospects for the deepening of bilateral cooperation with Iraq, particularly in the field of energy, were discussed at the meeting.
Ankara maintains low-level talks with Iraqi Kurds running autonomous northern Iraq but refuses to have senior-level dialogue, urging them to condemn and isolate the PKK in their region first.
News reports have recently suggested that Turkish officials are planning talks with Nechirvan Barzani, the prime minister of the autonomous regional Kurdish administration.
Massoud Barzani, president of the Kurdish administration, has also softened his usually harsh tone while describing the state of relations with Turkey in recent speeches.
The MGK statement also said Turkey's efforts to fight the PKK terrorists will continue.
The MGK discussed the new Cyprus reunification process as well. The statement said Turkey fully supported efforts to reach a just and lasting solution on the island and emphasized that the settlement must be based on the principle of political equality for both sides.
Last Mod: 25 Nisan 2008, 08:27