Iraq-Turkey Border Problems Resolved

A001211616.jpgAdvisor to the head of the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council (SIIC) said Baghdad and Ankara have settled their recent border problems caused by a series of attacks launched against Turkey by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) from inside its bases in northern Iraq. “The problem has been solved and the good steps taken by the central government in Baghdad to soothe Turkey’s concerns have helped very much to reduce PKK-related problems,” Mohsen Hakim, the political advisor to Abdel Aziz Hakim, said on the sidelines of his visit to FNA’s stand at the Press and Media Exhibition here in Tehran on Monday.

He also said that the Kurd officials in northern Iraq have helped the central government in taking the aforementioned steps.

Elsewhere, Hakim noted a proposal raised by Iran at the recent meeting of Iraq’s neighbors and world powers in Istanbul to end Iraq’s crisis, and said, “As far as the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council is concerned, the plan contained good and positive points, but one or two of its clauses needed more studies.”

He also pointed to the recent visit to Tehran by Abdel Aziz Hakim, and said that in his meetings with Iranian officials, the SIIC head has discussed bilateral ties and exchanged views about the latest developments in the region.

Mohsen Hakim also said that Iraqi officials are striving to release the remaining Iranian inmates still in US custody in Iraq.

Last Friday the US released two of the five Iranian mission staffers who had been kidnapped during a raid by the US troops on Iran’s consulate general in the northern Iraqi city of Erbil last January.

Earlier Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyed Mohammad Ali Hosseini quoted SIIC head Abdel Aziz Hakim as saying that three of the Iranian diplomats still kept in US captivity will be released in the near future.

“We know that the respectable Iraqi officials have launched extensive follow-ups to the case to set all of our dear ones free,” Hosseini told FNA here on Monday.

Mohsen Hakim also noted Iran-US talks on Iraq, and expressed the hope that the meeting would be held in coming days.

He said Iraqi government has extended an official request to Tehran to attend the fourth round of talks with Washington.

Hakim assured that the next meeting would yield more fruits compared with the previous rounds of talks.

“Both sides are seriously determined. Meantime, Iraq’s security conditions have improved, inflation has decreased from 60 to 16 percent and the rate of unemployment has been reduced to 20 percent. Under such circumstances, talks will grow more fruitful,” Hakim said.

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