Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Turkey slams US "ineptitude" in request for troops to Iraq

ANKARA (AFP) - Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul charged that the United States had been inept in handling a request for Turkish troops to be sent to neighbouring Iraq to help its forces there, Anatolia news agency reported.

"Of course, there is ineptitude here. First they came, very enthusiastic, and said 'please do not be late' and then they saw that there are many different issues. They have many hesitations themselves," Gul was quoted as telling reporters....

The Turkish parliament authorized the government on October 7 to send soldiers to Iraq, but US officials have since failed to soften the Iraqi Governing Council's objections to the plan....

"We are not going to undertake anything as long as there are hesitations... Everything concerning us should be very clear, everybody should say 'yes,'" Gul said.

He stressed that it was up to Washington to persuade the Iraqi leadership.

"They are supposed to convince those who they themselves have appointed...."


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