TURKISH FM QUOTED ON PKK AND TIES WITH IRAQ, NORMALIZATION WITH ARMENIA
Anatolia News Agency
July 16 2008
["WE HOPE ISSUE OF PKK TO BE OUT OF AGENDA IN RELATIONS WITH IRAQ,
BABACAN" – AA headline]
ANKARA (A.A) -Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan said Wednesday the
Turkish government hopes the issue of terrorist organization PKK to
be out of the agenda in relations with Iraq.
Speaking at a programme on state run TRT TV channel, Babacan said
that it is the wish of the Turkish government to normalize relations
"Armenia is the only neighbour of Turkey with which Turkey has
problems with. Turkey has taken many unilateral steps in regard to
Armenia in the recent past. There are direct flights between several
Turkish provinces and Armenian capital of Yerevan. There is indirect
trade with Armenia. We, as Ankara, have sent messages to Armenia for
dialogue. Armenian allegations in regard to the incidents of 1915 cause
problems in relations and actually poison Turkish-Armenian relations,"
Touching on Turkish-Iraqi relations, Babacan said that "Turkey wishes
for the issue of terrorist organization PKK to drop out of the agenda
in relations with Iraq. This can be possible with the political will
of the central government in Baghdad and the regional administration
in north of Iraq."
In reference to Iran, Babacan stressed that "Turkey is against the use
of nuclear weapons in the region. However, we have respect for any
sovereign country to utilize nuclear technology. The international
community must be in dialogue with Iran to overcome its suspicions
on Iran’s nuclear programme."
On Cyprus, Babacan said that a new atmosphere of optimism has come
into existence following elections in the Greek Cypriot administration.
"The two leaders in Cyprus will hold talks on July 25th and evaluate
the works of the technical committees. We are the side that favours
a solution. The solution should be found within the framework of the
United Nations," Babacan also said.