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NATO: PKK attacks despite peace efforts

05. October 2011. | 08:46

Source: MIA

NATO will not interfere with Turkey's fight against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, because it is a national issue, but welcomes the share of intelligence and information between the member states, according to NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

NATO will not interfere with Turkey's fight against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, because it is a national issue, but welcomes the share of intelligence and information between the member states, according to NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

NATO will not interfere with national decisions such as the fight against the PKK, said Rasmussen in an interview with daily Hürriyet, adding that he appreciated that the government under the leadership of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has tried to find peaceful solutions.

"Against that background I find it not only disappointing, but also outrageous, that the PKK continues horrific attacks against people in Turkey," he said.

Responding to a question on Turkey's cross-border land operation against the PKK, Rasmussen expressed NATO's solidarity with Turkey, adding that NATO will not interfere.

"Of course NATO allies would stand ready to assist each other when it comes to relevant information and intelligence," Rasmussen said, adding that NATO is not going to deploy military capabilities against the PKK. The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and EU and has fought against Turkey since 1984.

On a question whether the change of axis in Turkey worries NATO, Rasmussen said: "Turkey plays a crucial role in its cultural bonds with countries in the region and beyond, which makes it a key player. Turkey stands as an excellent example of how freedom and democracy can bring positive progress to a country, and Turkey can also serve as a model in the region."

As NATO prepares to begin a campaign for the 60th anniversary of Turkish membership, Rasmussen said this was an opportunity to meet younger generations who "tend to take peace and security for granted because they don't remember the Cold War.
PACE grants 'Partner for Democracy' status to the Palestinian National Council

Strasbourg, 4 October 2011 (MIA) - The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Tuesday voted to grant 'Partner for Democracy' status to the Palestinian National Council - – only the second time such status has been accorded.

Presenting the report at today's debate, Tiny Kox (Netherlands, UEL) said the status "created new opportunities for the Palestinian people" and could be seen as part of the Arab Spring. The Speaker of the Palestinian National Council Salim Al-Za'noon hailed the decision as "historic" and said it could contribute to establishing peace in the region, official web-site of PACE informs.

A six-member delegation of Palestinian elected representatives will be able to speak in the Assembly and most of its committees, and propose subjects for debate, but cannot vote.

In return, the Palestinian National Council – in a letter from its Speaker – has pledged to pursue the values upheld by the Council of Europe, hold free and fair elections and work towards abolishing the death penalty, among other commitments.

The Assembly will monitor other key issues such as concluding negotiations for a government of national unity, and making the Palestinian National Council a democratically-elected body. Other points include refraining from violence, rejecting terrorism, recognising the right of Israel to exist and freeing the soldier Gilad Shalit. The Assembly will review progress on these points within two years.

In June this year, the Parliament of Morocco became the first to be granted the new status, which is intended for parliaments from regions neighbouring the Council of Europe who wish to benefit from the Assembly’s experience of democracy-building and to debate common challenges.

The President of the Palestinian National Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, is due to address the Assembly on Thursday.


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31. October - 06. November 2011.