Meeting with top US general, officials urge the US to press N.Iraq to do more against terrorism
Meeting in Ankara yesterday with a delegation led by US Commander in Iraq Gen. Lloyd Austin, Ankara asked the US to put more pressure on the regional Kurdish administration to combat the terrorist PKK, which has bases there. The delegation had discussions in Ankara with Land Forces Cmdr. Gen. Erdal Ceylanoglu, Deputy Chief of Staff Gen. Aslan Guner, Interior Minister Besir Atalay and acting Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Selim Yenel. Turkey has recently intensified its diplomatic efforts to combat the PKK in coordination with Iraq, Washington and other countries in the region, including Iran and Syria. Diplomatic sources said there was a positive atmosphere on solving the PKK problem, referring to Turkey's increasingly active diplomacy to convince the terrorist group to lay down its arms. Austin's talks also focused on an action plan agreed to by Washington, Ankara and Baghdad in April. Turkey hopes to keep alive the PKK's so-called truce, which is set to expire soon.