Iraq deems PKK 'outlawed organization' over negotiations with Turkey

Following the Second Security Summit between the Turkish and Iraqi authorities in Baghdad, Iraq National Security Council has banned the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

Duvar English

In a joint statement following the Second Security Summit convened by Turkish and Iraqi officials in Baghdad on March 14, it was disclosed that the PKK, previously characterized as a "common threat" to both nations in December, has now been designated an "outlawed organization" by the Iraqi National Security Council.

Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan, National Defense Minister Yaşar Güler, Director of the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) İbrahim Kalın, and Deputy Interior Minister Münir Karaloğlu attended the high level security meeting.

The Turkish delegation met with Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein, Iraqi Defense Minister Sabit Rıza Al Abbasi, Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government Interior Minister Rebar Ahmed Khalid, and other high level bureaucrat in the capital Baghdad.

The two countries will continue their collaboration against the PKK, through the Joint Standing Committee they have decided to establish.

Following the decision on the PKK, Iraq will have to take steps such as ending the presence of the now-outlawed organization in the country's territory along preventing all kinds of activities including financial operations and propaganda.

The authorities pointed out that this decision was binding not only for the Iraqi Federal Government but also for the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government.

The PKK, which is listed as a "terrorist organization" by the United States, the European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom, has been based in northern Iraq since the 1980s. In recent years, the organization has moved to more southern regions such as Sulaymaniyah.

In the joint statement, the plans of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to visit Iraq in April after Ramadan were also discussed.

"The parties confirmed that all efforts will be made to ensure the success of this historic visit and noted that they hope it will provide a breakthrough in bilateral relations," the joint statement said.