Office of the Spokesperson (State Department)
Question Taken at the October 19, 2011 Daily Press Briefing
Question: Is the U.S. engaged in talks with Kurdistan officials about their cooperation with Turkey in regards to PKK?
Answer: The United States Government has a broad and deep relationship with the Governments of Iraq and Turkey. We have encouraged and will continue to encourage cooperation by all sides on this effort. There is a mechanism in place called the Trilateral Security Dialogue that serves as a venue for U.S., Iraqi, and Turkish officials to meet regularly and consult on border issues, including cooperation in combating the PKK, which is a common enemy of Turkey, Iraq and the United States.
We encourage Iraq’s neighbors to respect Iraq’s sovereignty and cooperate closely with Iraq in combating terrorist groups in the border region, but we recognize fully the right of our Turkish ally to take action to defend itself from these terrorist attacks.
Note: The Kurdistan Workers Party is a Marxist Kurdish Nationalist insurgency and designated terrorist organization. They have waged an armed campaign since 1978 including international bombings and fundraising through drug trafficking. They have a history for attacking Turkish officials and for undermining Iraqi Kurdistan's efforts for national unity with the other ethnic groups in Iraq.
PKK image property of James Gordon and used via Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license. Image was obtained from Wikimedia Commons.