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Rice Raises Kurdish Guerrilla Issue With Iraq's Foreign Minister


The Bush administration has reaffirmed its determination to clamp down on Kurdish rebels who utilize Iraq's northern regions as a base for launching attacks against neighboring Turkey. From Washington, VOA's Michael Bowman reports.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says Kurdish guerrillas operating out of northern Iraq were among the issues she discussed with her Iraqi counterpart Hoshyar Zebari, during a meeting in Washington.

"We did discuss the issues of the PKK," said Condoleezza Rice. "We discussed the importance of the trilateral security mechanism that Iraq, the United States, and Turkey instituted some time ago, and the importance of accelerating the work of the mechanism, because the Iraqis do not want - and we do not want - their territory to be used for terrorist acts against their neighbor."

The Kurdistan Workers' Party, known as the PKK, seeks autonomy for Kurds in southeastern Turkey. It is regarded as a terrorist organization by the Bush administration, which has joined with Iraqi and Turkish officials to seek ways to oust the guerrillas from northern Iraq.

Turkey has recently massed troops along its border with Iraq amid continued skirmishes with PKK fighters, as well as PKK attacks on Turkish military targets.

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