Negotiations On Iraq Completed in Turkey

ANKARA (Armenpress)–Ankara told US Deputy Secretary of State Paul Wolfowitz that Turkey didn’t want a surprise regarding Iraq. During Wolfowitz’s contacts in Turkey–Turkish government officials listed him Turkey’s concerns regarding Iraq and told him that Turkey didn’t want to face a surprise on this issue. The Turkish side underlined that Turkey and the United States were two close allies and strategic partners and therefore the two countries naturally should be in cooperation.

During the negotiations between USA and Turkey concerning Iraq–Ankara decided to abandon the policy of diplomatic avoidance–preferring to openly present all its deman’s–the realization of which will make Turkey’s participation in the new war against Iraq possible.

According to the Huriyett newspaper–Turkish authorities announced that Turkey is ready to negotiate concerning the provision of Turkey’s air space for new military actions in case USA fulfills the following four pre-terms; not to establish of Kurdish independent state formation–to compensate all financial losses which Turkey will suffer during the coming war; to allow local population to elect new authorities in Iraq; and to leave Mosul and Kerduk cities–rich of oil–under control of the local Turkmen population.

The Turkish newspaper stressed that Turkey faces serious difficulties at the present moment as the US is going to start a new war against Iraq in autumn–when Turkey will be going through pre-term parliamentary elections. As it was reported earlier the date of elections is November 3.

Expressing a hope that a new war against Iraq will–however–not begin–Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit announced that his country must be informed by US about the final decisions concerning this. He also suggested a program on working out of certain mechanisms of exchange of information on Iraq. This careful position of Ecevit was characterized as Turkey’s readiness to "open the doors a little."

Ankara also told Wolfowitz that Turkey did not want to face Armenian genocide bills in the future. "At the moment there are no bills on the Armenian issue but it could come at any moment. There are also two bills about the Cyprus conflict. We are hearing that there are lobbying activities on this but this is not at an alarming level. We told them to take into consideration Turkish people’s sensitivity and we asked the US government to explain this to the US Congress."

US Deputy Secretary of State Paul Wolfowitz returned to the US July 18–refusing to disclose the approximate date of start of military actions against Iraq.

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