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Last Updated: Friday, 26 October 2007, 17:42 GMT 18:42 UK
Turkey rejects Iraq's PKK offer
Turkish guns on Iraq border. 26 Oct
Turkey has been massing troops along the Iraq border
Turkey has dismissed a range of proposals from Iraq on dealing with Kurdish rebels, saying they will take too long to work.

The foreign ministry said more urgent action was needed than that offered by an Iraqi delegation, which is in Ankara to try to resolve the dispute.

The visit is an attempt to avert a threatened Turkish ground attack on Kurdistan Workers' Party bases in Iraq.

Turkey gave the Iraqis a list of PKK rebels and demanded their extradition.

'Criminals'

The Iraqi delegation, including Defence Minister Abdul-Qader Mohammed Jassim and US officials from the embassy in Baghdad, held talks with Turkey's Foreign Minister Ali Babacan.

THE PKK
PKK rebels in Iraq. File
Formed in late 1970s
Launched armed struggle in 1984
Dropped independence demands in 1990s
Wants greater autonomy for Turkey's Kurds
Leader Abdullah Ocalan arrested in 1999
Ended five-year ceasefire in 2004
Called a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the EU and US

Afterwards, the Turkish foreign ministry praised the Iraqi team for its "sincere" and "well-intentioned" approach.

But it said the Iraqi ideas would "take a long time to put into action".

"Turkey expects urgent and determined measures in the fight against the PKK."

The BBC's Jonny Dymond in Ankara says Iraq's promises to close Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) offices do not go far enough for Turkey.

Turkey wants the mountain bases of the group in the far north of Iraq closed and the leadership handed over, he says.

The furthest the Iraqis appear prepared to go is to disrupt the movement of the PKK and close offices related to its activities, our correspondent says.

Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Cemil Cicek said a list of PKK members had been handed to the Iraqi delegation.

It was not immediately clear how many names it contained, but Mr Cicek said every PKK member in northern Iraq "is guilty. They are criminals at least for being a member of a terrorist group. We want all of them to be handed over."

Calls for restraint

Turkey has warned it will not tolerate more cross-border raids by PKK rebels.

Its military has been shelling suspected rebel bases after massing troops along the border in recent days.

On Friday, Turkish jets and helicopters carried out bombing raids on PKK positions along the border but it is unclear whether they ventured inside Iraq.

The Iraqi delegation's visit comes amid intense diplomatic pressure on Turkey to show restraint.

Tensions reached boiling point last Sunday after the PKK attacked a Turkish military patrol, killing 12 soldiers. Turkey has confirmed another eight are missing.

Under public pressure to act, Turkish officials have made clear the talks could be the last chance to avert serious military action.

Turkish military and civilian leaders have also recommended economic measures against northern Iraq, which relies heavily on Turkey for food and electricity.

The PKK - which is designated a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the US, and the EU - is thought to have about 3,000 rebels based in Iraq.

VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
PKK spokesman on what the group stands for



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