Joint Declaration By Turkey, the US and the United Kingdom Regarding the Agreement Reached By KDP and PUK November 10, 1998


Turkey, the United States and the United Kingdom, as co-sponsors of the Ankara Process, welcome the recommitment to the principles of the Ankara Statements embodied in the September 17 Joint Statement by the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) in Washington. With this joint statement, efforts at reconciliation between the KDP and the PUK have reached an important new stage.

Turkey, the United States and the United Kingdom reitrate the importance of preserving the unity and territorial integrity of Iraq. We are pleased to note the prominence the KDP and the PUK accord this principle in their joint statement. Within this context, we note that arrangements to implement the Ankara Statements and the Joint Statement have the objective of an interim solution for the current temporary situation in northern Iraq.

Clearly the co-sponsors as well as the parties believe that key decisions of Iraq’s future should be made by all the Iraqi people together as an appropriate time and as part of a regular political process. The Ankara Statement and the Joint Statement are thus meant to implement a framework of regional administration until key decisions about the political system of Iraq can be made by the Iraqi people within a united Iraq. We welcome the Joint Statement as an important step in that direction.

We also welcome the clean commitment by the KDP and PUK to deny sanctuary to the PKK, to eliminate all PKK bases from the region, and to safeguard the Turkish border. Turkey’s legitimate security concerns and its right to defend itself against terrorism should be respected. We look forward to full implementation of these and other provisions in the Joint Statement and Ankara Statements designed to eliminate terrorism.

We recognize the possible role of humanitarian, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in supporting the goals of the Ankara Statements. In the past, the activities of some NGOs in northern Iraq may not have conformed with their status. The Government of Turkey has established principles to regulate the passage of NGO workers to the region.

Finally, our governments wish to recognize the statesmanlike, cooperative achievement of Mr.Barzani and Mr.Talabani in making possible this initiative. We welcome their visit to Ankara and suggest that they continue their involvement in the Ankara Process and implementation of its goals.