ANKARA: The leader of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region vowed yesterday he would not allow Kurdish separatists to stage attacks in Turkey from northern Iraq, local media reported.
“We will use all methods including pressure” to deter the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) from launching cross-border attacks, Massud Barzani said, according to the CNN-Turk television.
“I will not allow the PKK to prevail in the region,” Barzani was quoted as saying by the Anatolia news agency, after wrapping up two days of talks in Turkey.
“If the PKK continues to use arms, it will face consequences,” the Iraqi Kurdish leader warned.
The PKK has long used bases in northern Iraq as a springboard for attacks into Turkey’s southeast.
The PKK, listed as a terrorist organisation by Turkey and by much of the international community, took up arms in Kurdish-majority southeastern Turkey in 1984, sparking a conflict that has claimed some 45,000 lives.
The Iraqi Kurdish leader’s words were backed up by Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who urged Kurdish militants to lay down their arms.
“(Our) military operations will cease as soon as the PKK lays down arms,” Erdogan said in televised remarks while on an official visit to Qatar.
Barzani met Friday with President Abdullah Gul and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.