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Iraq to Close Offices of PKK, Stop Group from Operating in Iraq


Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki says his country is shutting down the offices of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, and will not allow the group to operate in Iraq.

In a statement, Mr. Maliki said the group is a terrorist organization. He said Baghdad will do everything it can to halt the PKK's activities which are threatening Iraq and Turkey. In London, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Ankara cannot wait forever for Iraq to crack down on Kurdish rebels who use bases in northern Iraq to launch attacks on Turkey. He warned that Ankara is prepared to take military action against the PKK at any time.

Mr. Erdogan spoke after talks with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Mr. Brown condemned the PKK's actions and pledged support for Turkey.

In Baghdad, Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari held talks with his Turkish counterpart, Ali Babacan. Babacan said Turkey prefers to deal with the PKK through diplomatic measures. He rejected a truce offer from the rebels, saying cease-fires are possible between states but not with terrorist organizations.

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