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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 104

Turkey’s PKK is a Terrorist Organization and US Wants to put it out of Business

Daya Gamage – US National Correspondent Asian Tribune

Washington, D.C. 20 October (Asiantribune.com): At the daily press briefing at the State Department in Washington on Thursday, October 18 when a correspondent asked Tom Casey, the deputy spokesman, if the United States was having a dialogue with Turkey’s separatist group PKK he categorically said “we consider the PKK a terrorist organization. We don’t engage in conversation with terrorist groups.”

PKK or the Kurdistan Peoples Party which is militarily battling the Government of Turkey to establish a separate independent state for Kurds in the north-east of Turkey has been designated by the United States a foreign terrorist organization (FTO). The PKK is mostly operating from the Iraqi soil. It engages in terrorist activities against the Turkish authorities.

Parallel to the PKK in South Asia is Tamil Tigers or the LTTE in Sri Lanka militarily battling the Sri Lankan state to establish a separate independent state for ethnic minority Tamils in the north and east of the island-nation located off the southern tip of India. The Tamil Tiger outfit was designated a FTO by the US in 1998.

The United States encourages the Sri Lanka government to engage in dialogue and negotiations with the Tamil Tigers.

Following is the reiteration of the United States policy of ‘no dialogue’ with terrorist organizations by US State Department spokesman Tom Casey.

Question : On Turkey. Mr. Casey, DOD spokesman Geoff Morrell in a statement yesterday was referring to "Kurdish Government." I'm wondering do you recognize any Kurdish Government on earth.

Mr. Casey : Mr. Lambros, I'm assuming that Geoff would have been referring to the regional or provincial government of the northern areas of Iraq. Certainly, the United States recognizes the territorial integrity of Iraq. The regional government in the Kurdish areas there is part of Iraq and we certainly don't recognize any separate country or separate entity outside of that Iraqi Government.

Question : Do you have direct or indirect contact with PKK leaders in northern Iraq?

Mr. Casey : Mr. Lambros, we consider the PKK a terrorist organization. We don't engage with -- in conversations with terrorist groups.

Question : But when General Joseph Ralston was in charge for the negotiation on behalf of the Department of State how he presented your views to PKK leaders?

Mr. Casey : Mr. Lambros, the PKK is a terrorist organization. We want to put the PKK out of business. Mr. -- or General Ralston's, excuse me, conversations were with Turkish Government officials and Iraqi Government officials. He was not engaged in a dialogue with the PKK.

Question : One more. Since the (inaudible) three battalions in northern Iraq according to the Department of Defense before the 2003 invasion occupation did you coordinated any operation against PKK?

Mr. Casey : Mr. Lambros, in terms of military operations involving the Iraqis or Turkish military, I'd refer you to them if you want to know what our military's doing. You clearly are paying attention to what Geoff's been saying. You can go ask him about that.

Question : Thank you.

- Asian Tribune -

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