by Alissa J. Rubin
BAGHDAD, Oct. 31 Ñ Iraqi officials asked for Iran's help on Wednesday in
negotiating a diplomatic solution to the standoff with Turkey over Kurdish
guerrillas who have been using northern Iraq as a base to stage raids on
Turkish troops across the border.
Tensions between Iraq and Turkey over the issue threaten to overshadow other
topics at a regional meeting that starts Thursday in Istanbul, which Iraq
hoped would focus on its internal security.
The United States, which will participate in the meeting, said Wednesday
that it has stepped up the amount of intelligence it shares with Turkey on
the Kurdish rebels, known as the P.K.K.
Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki of Iraq met with the Iranian foreign
minister, Manouchehr Mottaki, on Wednesday and asked him to intervene on
Iraq's behalf at the meeting. . . .
The P.K.K., or the Kurdistan Workers' Party, has killed at least 42 people
in Turkey in the past month, mostly soldiers. The group, which has
supporters among Turkey's Kurdish minority as well as in Iraq, has fought in
the past for a separate Kurdish state in Turkey but now appears to be
focused on winning rights for Kurds living there.
Turkey has threatened to invade Iraq in pursuit of the rebels but has so far
Iran has been sympathetic to Turkey's position, because Kurdish guerrillas
have also been attacking Iran, but it has loyalties to Iraq which, like
Iran, has a Shiite-majority government. Iran has also worked closely with
the Kurdish leadership in Iraq. . . .
Alissa J. Rubin, "Iraq fears border crises overtaking agenda,"
International Herald Tribune, October 31, 2007