During h is whirlwnd tour of Turkey, Vice President Dick Cheney was told by Turkish officials they have no desire to interfere with the internal affairs of Iraq and their sole goal is eliminating Kurdish rebels. A diplomat, who is familiar with the discussions, noted: “We have told him that our sole problem with northern Iraq is the presence of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party(PKK). The diplomat emphasized Turkey was ready to develop positive relations with the semi-autonomous government in Kurdistan. “Turkey’s policy toward Iraq is clear: Improving cooperation in every field including economy, trade, energy, and culture.”
So far, the only comment made by Cheney regarding his visit, which was specifically added to his agenda by President Bush, dealt with his visit to what he termed, “Kurdistan.” He said: “The Kurds have done very well, in terms of their development of their economy.” Cheney most probably urged Turkey to deal with the PKK but avoid adding to the problems of the Iraq government. Prime Minister Erdogan told the media the United States was cooperating in the fight against Kurdistan terrorism.
Although, Cheney emphasizes the importance of creating a stable central govenment in Iraq, he referred to “Kurdistan” and described its government as though it were the government of a separate nation. One can only wonder if he realized the implications of his choice of words.