Turkish FM wary of weapons assistance to Iraq falling into PKK hands
Turkeyâs new foreign minister expressed concerns Sept. 8 that the outlawed Kurdistan Workersâ Party (PKK) could receive international weapons meant to combat the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
MevlÃ¼t ÃavuÅoÄlu said the international weapons assistance being provided to Kurdish peshmerga forces to boost them in their fight against ISIL militants should not end up in the hands of the PKK.
âThe Iraqi army is an army based on sectarianism,â ÃavuÅoÄlu told Anadolu Agency Sept. 8. âSo this may make it difficult to control the weapons handed to them. This assistance should be provided by taking into account the restructuring of the Iraqi army. We have publically expressed our sensitivity about this issue.â
His remarks came a week after the co-chair of the Peoplesâ Democratic Party (HDP), Selahattin DemirtaÅ, suggested that Turkey should provide weapons to the PKK. âIt would be better that itâs Turkey who provides these weapons and not the U.S.,â DemirtaÅ said.
ÃavuÅoÄlu also said 1,000 foreigners considered as âpotential terroristsâ had either been arrested or deported from Turkey to prevent them from crossing into conflict zones.
ÃavuÅoÄlu took over from Ahmet DavutoÄlu after the latter was named the countryâs new prime minister.
ÃavuÅoÄlu also said he expected U.S. President Barack Obama to unveil economic and political measures when he announces his strategy against ISIL on Sept. 10.
âWe donât think it will only be a military action. We expect a comprehensive announcement including economic development, stability and the formation of a unified and inclusive government,â he said.
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