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Iraq, Turkey up anti-PKK cooperation

Iraq and Turkey agree to continue a joint effort against Kurdish Workers Party militants operating along their shared mountainous border.

«Iraq is in a serious fight with terrorism, as we are as well. Terrorism is a common issue for us,» said Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan after meeting with his visiting Iraqi counterpart Nouri al-Maliki on Wednesday.

Erdogan an al-Maliki also agreed to hold regular meetings to discuss the latest developments in fighting Kurdistan Workers› Party (PKK) Insurgents. 

«We should not allow the PKK terrorism to weaken our relations,» said al-Maliki, who also met with Turkish President Abdullah Gul during his one-day visit to Ankara.

«There is a shared willingness to reinforce our cooperation,» he added said.

The Iraqi premier said the goal of his visit was to set up the supreme council of strategic cooperation, which had been announced during Erdogan’s visit to Baghdad in July. The council will include both premiers.

Erdogan said the two prime ministers would meet annually, while their foreign ministers would meet three times a year.

Meanwhile, three Turkish soldiers were killed in an attack by PKK insurgents in Cizre town near the Iraqi border on Wednesday, while seventeen others were injured. Four of the injured are reported to be in critical conditions.

The PKK has been fighting for autonomy in southeastern Turkey since 1984, conducting attacks on the country mostly from bases in northern Iraq. The violence has killed tens of thousands of people.

The Kurdish insurgents have escalated attacks since Turkey began raiding their bases in northern Iraq earlier this year. The militant group is listed as a terrorist organization by much of the international community including the US and the EU.

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دسته‌بندی شده در: Iraq, Turkey

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