Iraq's foreign minister says his government will help Turkey crack down on Kurdish rebels launching attacks into Turkey from bases in northern Iraq. Hoshiyar Zebari made the comment today (Tuesday) in Baghdad at a joint news conference with Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan. Zebari said he has assured his Turkish counterpart of Baghdad's active support in combatting what he called the "menace" of Kurdish rebels. He said Iraq will not allow the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, "to poison" relations (with Turkey).
e U.S. military in Iraq says at least 11 people were killed in an airstrike north of Baghdad early today (Tuesday). A spokeswoman (Major Peggy Kageleiry) said U.S. helicopters targeted a group of men planting roadside bombs. She said the suspects ran into a nearby house and the helicopter continued to fire at them. The spokeswoman said the military is investigating the incident. But she said initial reports indicate six civilians and five military aged men were killed. Five people who were wounded have been evacuated to a hospital in nearby Tikrit.
SOKOR-US-IRAQ: South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun says his country intends to continue to deploy troops in Iraq for another year, but plans to cut its mission in half. In a nationally televised address today (Tuesday), Mr. Roh told his country that troops will not be coming home just yet. Instead, he proposed that a reduced contingent of 600 non-combat troops stay in Iraq until the end of 2008, with half of the 12-hundred troops now in Iraq returning home by the end of this year. His proposal still needs the approval of parliament.
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert meets his British counterpart Gordon Brown in London today (Tuesday) for talks on Iran's nuclear program and Mideast peace efforts. Mr. Olmert has visited several European countries in recent days to lobby for tougher sanctions against Tehran for refusing to suspend its controversial nuclear work. The Israeli leader was in Paris Monday to discuss Iran with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Prime Minister Francois Fillon.
US-EUROPE: U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates is in Prague for talks with Czech leaders on American plans to build part of a missile defense system in the Czech Republic. Gates plans to meet with Czech President Vaclav Klaus and Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek. The Czech government has expressed no strong objections to the U.S. plan. But polls show most Czech citizens oppose the missile system, especially those in towns and villages near the planned site.
Audio in Lao.