In a bid to demonstrate cooperation with nations attending the International Conference in Ankara, the outlawed Kurdish group, the PKK, announced today there were freeing the eight Turkish soldiers who had been captured and held hostage. “At 7:30 a.m., the eight Turkish prisoners were delivered to a delegation from the Kurdish region, which also included members of the Democratic Security Party,” said PKK spokesperson Abdul Chudahi. Th freeing of the prisoners came as Iraq began to crack down on Kurdish groups which have been assisting the PKK in its militancy against Turkey.
It is ironic that American Secretary of State Rice played a role in working with regional nations, including Iran, in this effort to ease tensions as 100,000 Turkish troops were massed on the border of Kurdistan. Instead of the normal Bush rhetoric about evil doers, Rice worked with evil doers in in order to lessen tension and achieve a compromise solution. There were no demands for “preconditions” which is so typical of President Bush before he will even talk with groups he considers to be enemies, but all parties plunged into the task of negotiation and compromise. Is this a formula to use in Afghanistan or Iraq or for Israel in its conflict with Palestinians?