Kurds begin arriving in Iraq, face rejection by the government
Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) fighters greet their comrades as they arrive in the northern Iraqi city of Dohuk on May 14, 2013, after leaving Turkey as part of a peace drive with Ankara. (Safin Hamed/AFP)
The Iraqi government reacted angrily to the arrival of of Kurds in its territory on Tuesday, describing the move as a "flagrant violation" of its sovereignty which has damaged diplomatic relations with Turkey, AFP reported.
"The Iraqi government confirms its rejection of the withdrawal and the presence of armed men of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) inside Iraqi territory, which is a flagrant violation of Iraq's sovereignty and independence," a cabinet statement said.
The move "causes severe damage to neighbourly relations between the two countries and their common interests," the statement continued.
The Iraqi government says it intends to take the matter up with the UN Security Council.
The first group of PKK fighters that have pledged to leave Turkey as part of a peace plan arrived in Iraq on Tuesday.