US reiterates support against PKK to Turkey
US Secretary of State Clinton (L) recently said they are in close cooperation with Turkey over the fight against the PKK. AP photo
The United States has reiterated its support for Turkey’s fight against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has said the United States expressed its strong solidarity in Turkey’s fight against the PKK and would continue to help Turkey counter this threat. “Just as Turkey shared in the effort to deny al-Qaeda and its militant allies safe haven in Afghanistan, the United States has expressed its strong solidarity in Turkey’s fight against the PKK,” Panetta said at a dinner held on the sidelines of an American-Turkish Council conference in Washington.
‘No solution excluding İmralı’
“I have made clear that we will continue to help them counter this threat. We believe strongly that the most effective way to deal with this issue is not through military means alone,” Panetta added. For his part, Turkish Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz said: “Cooperation between Turkey and the United States is crucial to eradicate terrorism. We are pleased with the support we get from the U.S. in counter-terrorism.” Meanwhile, Murat Karayılan, the leader of PKK, said the words of Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Beşir Atalay were baseless, Fırat news agency reported. Atalay last week said there were ongoing talks which even included the laying down and handing over of arms by the PKK. Claiming that Atalay’s statements had no grounds, Karayılan said there would be no “softening” solution to ongoing clashes excluding İmralı, referring to Abdullah Öcalan, the convicted leader of the PKK, who is serving a lifetime prison sentence at İmralı.