US Addresses Turkish Worries about Iraq Constitution

ANKARA (AFP)–A senior US envoy will meet with Turkish officials to discuss Ankara’s concerns over the new interim constitution of Iraq–reported Turkish and US sources.

Ronald Newmann–a member of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) in Iraq–was asked by US Secretary of State Colin Powell to go to Ankara after Turkey publicly criticized the interim constitution–signed in Baghdad on Monday–a Turkish diplomat told AFP.

Turkey has warned that it would pave the way for more instability in the neighboring country. "The interim law does not satisfy us; it increases our concerns," said Turkish government spokesman–Justice Minister Cemil Cicek.

Turkey has repeatedly warned against moves in postwar Iraq that could help the Iraqi Kurds enhance self-rule in the north of the country.

Under the interim constitution–Iraqi Kurdistan will retain federal status and the rest of Iraq will be given the right to begin forming states.

Turkey fears that increased political influence of Iraqi Kurds could set an example for their restive cousins in southeast Turkey where a bloody Kurdish rebellion has only recently been quelled.


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