Jordan, Egypt caution Turkey against offensive in northern Iraq

October 22, 2007 18:10

Jordan and Egypt cautioned Turkey on Monday against unleashing a troop offensive against Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq and urged dialogue between the two sides, a reflection of Arab countries' fears of a widening of the Iraq conflict. Arab governments have been trying to strike a balance amid the mounting crisis between Iraq and Turkey, seeking to avoid openly criticizing Ankara and hoping diplomacy between Turkey, Iraq and the United States would bear fruit. Arab nations traditionally oppose any foreign incursion into a fellow Arab state, but they also fear that a Turkish military assault into Iraq would add a new dimension of violence to a region already torn by conflicts. They are also concerned that a Turkish incursion could also fuel separatist sentiment among Iraq's Kurds and the threat of Iraq's dismemberment.

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