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Qubad Talabani: Turkey Backs Federalism in Iraq

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Source:The New Anatolian

The New Anatolian / Washington

Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) Washington representative Qubad Talabani yesterday claimed that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan had written a letter to Iraqi President Jalal Talabani expressing Turkey's support for an Iraqi federation.

Speaking at a meeting on "Iraq's Political Transition" organized by the Council of Foreign Relations (CFR) in Washington, Qubad Talabani, son of Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, said: "We've done our best to dispel Ankara's concerns over Kurdish independence movements. In a recent letter sent to my father, Erdogan expressed Turkey's support for federalism in Iraq. This is the first time that Ankara has confirmed the concept of federalism publicly."

According to the report by American Federal News, Qubad Talabani claimed that Ankara understood Iraqi instability to be a major problem for the country's future and that the establishment of a "stable buffer region" will serve Turkey's political and economic interests.

Asked about the structure of an Iraqi federation, Talabani said that various models exist around the world and Iraq could benefit from elements of several models.

Talabani: Solution must be found to PKK problem

Qubad Talabani said that Turkey had previously presented its concerns about the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), agreeing that a solution must be found to the problem.

Talabani also stated that he's in favor of a political solution rather than a military one, adding, "Both sides should sit around the table to find a peaceful solution to the PKK problem."

Asked whether the Iraqi Kurds aim to unite with the other Kurds in the region towards the establishment of a "Greater Kurdistan," Talabani said: "I don't think that Kurds will abandon their aim of establishing an independent Kurdish state. But this is the public's aim, which is nothing more than a dream. It would be good if these people were provided with electricity, water and independence, and the opportunity to speak their mother tongues and educate their children."

Source: The New Anatolian, 11 May 2005


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