Turkey puts troop deployment on hold

24 October 2003
Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan on 24 October announced that his country would not be sending troops to Iraq. During a visit to central Asia, Erdogan said the decision to send troops had been postponed at the request of US authorities. 'The US has just approached our chiefs of staff, saying 'Give us a little more time, let us continue our work, and then we will move forward',' Erdogan said. 'The fact that a pause has been called in the talks does not mean that this job is over.'

The Turkish parliament on 7 October voted in favour of sending troops to Iraq to aid the US-led peacekeeping force. It was reported that about 10,000 troops would to be deployed to the country for up to one year. Members of the Kurdish ruling parties in northern Iraq have said that any Turkish presence in the country would complicate the security situation (MEED 20:10:03).

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