Turkey set to train Iraqi army in counter-terrorism, top Iraqi general announces
Iraqi Chief of General Staff Babaker Baderkhan Shawkat Zebari yesterday said Turkey is going to train the Iraqi army in how to combat terrorism. Urging the northern Iraqi regional administration to support Turkey's fight against terrorism, he said this was the subject of talks between Iraqi Defense Minister Abdul-Kader Jassem al-Obeidi and his Turkish counterparts last week. They also discussed ways to improve defense and anti-terrorism cooperation between Turkey and Iraq, he said. Stressing that ties between Turkey and the regional administration have recently been positive, he said he believes the regional administration will support Turkey and the Iraqi central government's fight against terrorism. He also claimed that a possible agreement between Turkey and Baghdad against the terrorist PKK could be signed with the approval of the regional administration because Iraq's northern border remains within the Kurdish region of Iraq. In other news, Turkey and Syria came close to signing an agreement with NATO's Maintenance and Supply Agency (NAMSA) to demine their shared border. Under the agreement, the removal of tens of thousands of mines from the Turkish-Syrian border is expected to be completed by 2014.