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Thursday, April 14, 2011     GET REAL

Syria, Turkey sign security agreement focused
on Kurdish insurgents

ANKARA — Syria and Turkey have approved a counter-insurgency accord.


Officials said the CI agreement would enhance security cooperation between Ankara and Damascus. They said the accord would focus on the Kurdish Workers Party, which operates in Iraq, Syria and Turkey.

"This will formalize procedures that have already been taking place between our two countries," a Turkish official said.

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Officials said the CI agreement would pave the way for the extradition of PKK members to either Syria and Turkey, Middle East Newsline reported. They said several of the Kurdish insurgents captured by Turkey over the last year were identified as Syrian citizens or residents.

Another element of the accord was the establishment of a so-called hotline between the security establishments of Damascus and Ankara. They said one hotline has already been operating between the offices of the military chiefs of both countries.

Officials said the unrest in Syria has hampered security along its border with Turkey. They said this has facilitated the flow of PKK and related insurgents from Syria to Turkey in 2011.

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