Iraq says entry of Kurd fighters violates sovereignty

AFP , Tuesday 14 May 2013

The Iraqi government announced that the arrival of some 2000 PKK fighters to its lands as part of a peace-drive to end fighting in Turkey violates the country's sovereignty

The Iraqi government said on Tuesday that it rejects the entry of Kurdish fighters from Turkey into its territory as a "flagrant violation" of its sovereignty that damages relations with Ankara.

"The Iraqi government confirms its rejection of the withdrawal and the presence of armed men of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) inside Iraqi territory, which is a flagrant violation of Iraq's sovereignty and independence," a statement from the cabinet said.

The first group out of the roughly 2,000 PKK fighters who are departing Turkey as part of a peace drive aimed at ending the 29-year conflict with Ankara arrived in north Iraq on Tuesday.

The move "causes severe damage to neighbourly relations between the two countries and their common interests," the statement said.

Iraq plans to present a complaint to the United Nations Security Council, so the body will "take the necessary decision to prevent the violation of Iraq's sovereignty," it added.

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