Turkey's prime minister has repeated his concern that Iraqi Kurds will use their new political influence to take control of the oil-rich Iraqi province of Kirkuk and fuel Kurdish separatist ambitions in the region.

In remarks to members of his ruling Justice and Development Party Tuesday, Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused the United States of ignoring certain developments in Iraq which have deeply upset his nation.

Without mentioning names, Mr. Erdogan said "those who came to the region with the intention of bringing democracy have, unfortunately, preferred to remain indifferent to these anti-democratic goals." He said Turkey would not be "dragged into an upheaval that might last for years."

A senior U.S. defense official Douglas Feith is in Ankara, and on Monday reassured officials that the United States is committed to preserving Iraq's territorial integrity. He also said the issue of Kirkuk is not a matter for one group to decide, but for the Iraqi people in general.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and AP.