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Monday, May 24, 1999 Published at 12:25 GMT 13:25 UK

World: Europe

New Kurdish Congress

Groups representing Kurdish people -- whose homeland is split mainly between Turkey, Iran and Iraq -- have begun a three-day meeting in Amsterdam to try to establish a new Kurdish National Congress.

But one of the main groups -- the Kurdish Democratic party made up mainly of Iraqi Kurds -- is reported to have refused to attend because of its tense relations with the Turkish PKK.

Turkey, which says the PKK is a terrorist organisation, has criticised the Dutch government for allowing the meeting to go ahead.

There were plans to hold the meeting in the Basque country in northern Spain, but the idea was abandoned after a legal challenge by the Madrid government.

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