Iraq's vice president on Tuesday urged Turkey not to stage a cross-border offensive to fight separatist Kurdish rebels based in Iraq and called for diplomacy to solve the problem, reports said.
Iraqi Vice President Tareq Al-Hashemi, a Sunni Arab, made the appeal during a visit to Turkey, a day before the Turkish Parliament was expected to approve a motion Wednesday allowing the government to order cross-border operations over the next year, private NTV television reported.
"We are against a cross-border offensive. Diplomacy should be given a chance," NTV quoted al-Hashemi as saying. "I hope that I will be able to convince Turkey on the issue."
Al-Hashemi's remarks came after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said "the passage of the motion in Parliament does not mean that an operation will be carried out at once."