Iraq says threat of major Turkish incursion less

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BAGHDAD, Nov 6 (Reuters) Iraq believes there is less of a threat of a major Turkish military incursion to crush the PKK after Baghdad took ''tangible and serious measures'' against the Kurdish rebel group, Iraq's foreign minister said today.

Hoshiyar Zebari told Reuters that a weekend meeting of Iraq's neighbours in Istanbul, Monday's talks between Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and US President George W Bush and steps taken to curb the PKK's movements in northern Iraq had all contributed to easing heightened tensions.

''A major military incursion into northern Iraq, and major is the key word, the chances of that are less,'' Zebari said by telephone.

''The Iraqi government has taken a number of tangible, demonstrable measures against the PKK. These measures will continue.'' The authorities in Iraq's largely autonomous Kurdistan region have closed the offices of a political party linked to the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, and set up roadblocks to stop the flow of food and fuel to the rebels' mountain hideouts.

Turkey has massed 100,000 troops on the border and threatened to invade unless Iraq and the United States takes action to arrest the rebel leaders and shut down their bases.


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