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Iraq bans PKK, labelling it a threat to the country

March 15, 2024 at 4:33 pm

Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan (2nd L), Turkish Minister of National Defence Yasar Guler (L), Turkish Intelligence Organization Director Ibrahim Kalin (3rd L), Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein (R) and Iraqi Defense Minister Thabet Muhammad Saeed Al Abbasi (2nd R) attend the security meeting at the ministerial level in Baghdad, Iraq on March 14, 2024. [Murat Gök – Anadolu Agency]

The Iraqi National Security Council yesterday banned the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) from operating in the country, following a top security meeting with a Turkish delegation in Baghdad, local news outlet reports.

According to the report, both sides discussed measures to be taken against the group which Baghdad claims poses a security threat to the country and neighbouring Turkiye.

The Turkish delegation, which included Ankara’s Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan, Defence Minister Yasar Guler and Ibrahim Kalin, the head of the intelligence agency (MIT), visited Baghdad yesterday and held the second round of a top security meeting with their Iraqi counterparts.

The first round of the security talks was held in Ankara in December.

“Both sides stressed that the PKK organisation represents a security threat to both Turkiye and Iraq, and it is certain that the presence of the organisation on Iraqi territory represents a violation of the Iraqi constitution,” read a joint statement from the foreign ministries of Ankara and Baghdad.

On Tuesday, the Turkish Defence Ministry published photos purportedly showing a top Turkish commander meeting with Kurdish and Iraqi military commanders in the Kurdistan Region.

“The operations we conduct in northern Iraq are carried out in close coordination with Iraqi security units,” the ministry said in a post on X, adding that they discussed Iraq-Turkiye border security.

The PKK is listed as a terror group in Turkiye, the US and the EU, and had led an insurgency against Ankara since the 1980s with the objective of establishing an independent Kurdish state.

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