Rebels with the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, say they are willing to find a peaceful solution to their issues with Turkey -- if the Turkish military abandons all plans for an incursion into northern Iraq.
In a statement received by Reuters in Baghdad Monday evening, the PKK said it was ready to "extend the hand of peace again" if Turkey stopped all military operations against Kurdish fighters.
Earlier Monday, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani stated that the rebels would declare a ceasefire, but there is no indication as yet that the PKK has announced one. Kurdish rebels killed 12 Turkish soldiers in an ambush Sunday near the Iraqi border, in Turkey's Hakkari province. Rebels say they captured eight soldiers. Turkey's military says it killed 32 rebels in a counter-offensive.
The United States is calling on Iraq to take "swift" action to stop the PKK rebels in northern Iraq. Last week, the Turkish government won parliamentary approval to carry out military raids into northern Iraq to hunt for the rebels. Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan on Monday said Ankara will first pursue diplomatic means to resolve the crisis.