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US Reportedly Requests Turkish Troops for Iraq - 2003-07-20

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has reportedly said the United States has asked his country to send troops to help patrol Iraq.

Turkish newspapers say Mr. Erdogan made the comment Sunday during a stop in southern Turkey. But he did not say whether Turkey had agreed to contribute soldiers to a planned international stabilization force in Iraq. Turkish newspapers reported Sunday two top U.S. generals had made the request Friday during a visit to Ankara. The two sides reportedly discussed the possibility of sending 10,000 Turkish soldiers to Iraq.

The issue is likely to be high on the agenda of Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul's trip to Washington next week.