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Iraqi President Criticizes Syria's Support for Turkey on Border Issue

By VOA News
20 October 2007

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani is criticizing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for his support for possible Turkish military action against Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq.

The Iraqi president says Syria should adopt the European and U.S. position, seeking a peaceful solution to the cross-border problem.

Mr. Talabani told a VOA Kurdish service reporter Saturday, at Suleimaniya, in northern Iraq, that he believes Washington will prevent Turkey from staging a military incursion into Iraq's Kurdish territory.

In the northern Iraqi town of Zakho, thousands of Kurds protested in the streets Saturday against Turkey's threat of cross-border military action.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan Friday has urged Washington and Baghdad to crack down on the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, which is blamed for a series of deadly raids inside Turkey. The Turkish leader says he is willing to discuss joint military operations with Iraqi forces.

In a statement Friday, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged all sides to demonstrate restraint. He is calling on Iraq and the Kurdish regional administration in Iraq to prevent cross-border attacks against Turkey.

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