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Turkish President Determined to Stop Kurdish Rebel Threat


Turkish President Abdullah Gul says Ankara is determined to take the steps necessary to end the threat of Kurdish rebels based in northern Iraq.

Mr. Gul said Turkey is running out of patience and will not tolerate the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, launching attacks from across the border. He was speaking at a regional meeting, the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization foreign ministers' meeting, in the Turkish capital Thursday.

A high-level Iraqi delegation is expected to meet with Turkish officials in Ankara Thursday, in an effort to diplomatically defuse a mounting crisis along the nations' border.

Turkish officials say the military has been firing at Kurdish rebel positions inside northern Iraq since a rebel ambush near the border Sunday that killed 12 Turkish soldiers.

In a separate development, Turkey's National Security Council called on the government to take economic measures against groups that the Council says are directly or indirectly aiding PKK rebels.

The European Union and the United States have urged Ankara to refrain from launching a military incursion into Iraq to counter the rebels. U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says she has urged Iraqi Kurdish leaders to crack down on PKK rebels.

The PKK has been fighting for Kurdish autonomy in southeastern Turkey since 1984. More than 30,000 people have died in the conflict.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.