Turkey welcomes the cessation on 20 December of the joint US-UK air operation against Iraq that they started on 16 December as a result of the report by the UNSCOM chairman that Iraq had not cooperated with the Commission as required. We deeply regret the loss of life that occurred in Iraq during the operation.
As was stated by our Foreign Minister on 17 December, Turkey attaches great importance to the preservation of Iraq's territorial integrity and political unity, and believes that Iraq, as an important country in the region, must comply fully with the UN Security Council resolutions, and thereby should re-take its position in the international community of nations. At this stage, we sincerely hope that, Iraq first and foremost and the international community and the UN Security Council will increase their efforts to this end.
Turkey will continue its consultations with all interested countries on this subject in an intensified manner.