Turkish, U.S., and Iraqi officials will hold three-way talks in Baghdad on Wednesday, as part of efforts to boost cooperation against PKK terrorists who use northern Iraq as a base for attacks on Turkey. (UPDATED)
The delegations are headed by Turkish Interior Minister Besir Atalay, U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker and Iraqi Minister of State for National Security Shirwan al-Waeli, and include both civilian and military officials, the U.S. embassy said.
Officials from the regional Kurdish administration in northern Iraq are also expected to attend the talks.
Turkey, provided with intelligence by the United States, stepped up its campaign to crackdown on the PKK both inside Turkey and in northern Iraq, after the terror organization increased its attacks on Turkish soldiers, as well as civilians.
Turkish officials say around 2,000 PKK terrorists are holed up in the mountains of northern Iraq, where they enjoy free movement and use the region to launch cross-border attacks.
The top U.S. commander in Iraq, General Ray Odierno, visited Turkey last month to discuss efforts to fight the PKK. Turkish officials have also visited Baghdad to discuss the issue in recent weeks.
Atalay met Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki ahead of the three-way talks.
U.S.-IRAQ SECURITY PACT
The recently signed security pact between the United States and Iraq is also expected to be discussed during the talks
The Iraqi cabinet approved a pact, which would require all U.S. troops to leave the country by 2011, on Sunday and passed it to parliament, which was to hold an up-or-down vote on the deal on Nov. 24.
Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan also said Tuesday Maliki would send an Iraqi minister to Turkey as a special representative, and they would discuss the U.S.-Iraq security pact.