Friday, December 22, 2006

Time running out on Kurdish rebels in Iraq, Turkey tells US

ANKARA (AFP) - Turkey wants the United States to take concrete steps against Iraq-based separatist Kurdish rebels, a special Turkish envoy said, warning that time was running out for Ankara to see substantial progress in eliminating the threat posed by the militants.

Retired general Edip Baser, Ankara's coordinator with Washington in the fight against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), said he would discuss "priority concrete steps" with his US counterpart, retired general Joseph W. Ralston, when they meet in January.

"We (Turkey) have a time frame in our minds," Baser told the NTV news channel. "If we have not come up with concrete steps by the end of that time frame ... then we (Turkey) will say there is no need for us to dally any longer and we will call off this joint effort."

There could be a "parting of ways" if the United States rejects measures that Turkey believes should be in place against the rebels, Baser said.

No comments: