Talabani Criticizes Jaafari’s Turkey Visit
Iraq’s President Jalal Talabani yesterday criticized interim Prime Minister Ibrahim Al-Jaafari for making a solo visit to Turkey without consulting other members of the government. Talabani, who is a Kurd from the north, presides over Iraq’s fractious political system, which includes a Parliament riven by religious and ethnic divisions. “The Iraqi government is not committed to any agreement which may be reached between the prime minister and the Turkish government,” Talabani said in a statement. Talabani said he deeply regretted Jaafari’s unilateral decision to make the trip without consultation. “We express our deep regret with this decision which does not meet with Jaafari’s assurance that he will commit to group work,” Talabani said a strongly worded statement.

In Ankara, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on world leaders to help defuse sectarian violence in Iraq, saying the crisis there could spread beyond Iraq. Erdogan, speaking in Parliament hours before a meeting with Jaafari, also called on Iraqi leaders to avoid provocations and work together to form a broad-based government that would avoid the supremacy of one group over others. “We want all international actors ... to help the people of Iraq and the government of Iraq,” Erdogan said.
Posted by: Fred 2006-03-01