Turkish Kurd 'wants peace'

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The Independent Online
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Ankara (Reuter) - The Kurdish rebel leader, Abdullah Ocalan, had told Turkish leaders he was ready to end his nine-year guerrilla campaign for an independent state in south-east Turkey, an Iraqi Kurdish official said.

Serchil Kazzaz, Ankara representative of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), said he had delivered a letter from the PUK leader, Jalal Talabani, on Tuesday to Turkey's president, prime minister and other officials. Mr Kazzaz said Mr Talabani outlined Mr Ocalan's position.

Mr Kazzaz said Mr Ocalan had declared his condemnation of terrorism; his preference for and acceptance of peaceful means rather than violence between Kurds and Turks; his readiness to stop armed operations to give an opportunity for dialogue; his view that negotiations need not involve his party but could take place between the Turkish government and Kurdish members of Turkey's parliament; his concern to preserve the unity of the Turkish republic; his rejection of separatism and its slogans; his acceptance of democracy, human rights and culture within a single Turkish state; and his willingness to practise democratic activities and party work within the limits of democracy and legality.