Iraqi president: Crisis with Turkey has passed; Iraq situation better

Tensions between Iraq and Turkey have subsided and relations are improving, asserted Iraqi President Jalal Talabani in an interview with a Kuwaiti newspaper Wednesday. "The crisis with Turkey has passed," he told the daily Alrai in an interview, without further explanation, even as Turkish troops remain massed at the Iraqi borders over the presence of anti-Turkish rebel fighters in the Iraqi Kurdish region's mountainous hinterland. Talabani, who began a four-day visit to Kuwait on Wednesday, said conditions in war torn Iraq have improved, but more efforts at national reconciliation were needed to make the situation last. "The situation is better now. Most of the areas are safe and many Iraqis are fighting terrorists," the president said. He said Iraqis now see members of al-Qaida as a "danger" to them.