The Iraqi government called on Tuesday for urgent negotiations with Turkey after threats to launch an incursion into northern Iraq to crush Kurdish groups. This call came in a conciliatory statement from Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's spokesman, Ali al-Dabbagh, in which he urged the Turks to adopt a diplomatic rather than a military way forward.
"The Iraqi government calls on the Turkish government to hold urgent talks," said the statement, according to AFP.
Maliki's office said in a statement that an emergency cabinet meeting would be held on Tuesday to discuss "the development on the Iraqi-Turkish border." Maliki, it said, "will not accept military solutions as a way of dealing (with issues) between the two countries even though we realise and understand the worries of our Turkish friends."
Earlier, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan challenged the Iraqi government and Iraqi Kurds to take a stand against Kurdish militants on their territory or face the consequences.
"The central government in Iraq and the regional government in northern Iraq must put a thick wall between themselves and the terrorist organization." "Those who are unable to distance themselves from terrorism cannot avoid being adversely affected by the struggle against terrorism," Erdogan told the parliamentary group of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).