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U.S. welcomes call for disarmament of PKK

Imprisoned PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan urged group to end fight against Turkish military

03.03.2015
U.S. welcomes call for disarmament of PKK

By M. Bilal Kenasari

WASHINGTON 

The U.S. on Monday welcomed a call for the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, to lay down its arms against the Turkish military.

Sirri Sureyya Onder, Deputy of pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democracy Party, or HDP, announced Saturday that the PKK was invited by its imprisoned leader Abdullah Ocalan to meet in the spring to reach common ground on ending the more than 30-year fight.

"We would welcome all steps in support of a peaceful resolution in this conflict and commend the efforts of both the government and all parties concerned to work towards a lasting peace," said State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf.

“The solution process, which began with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's speech in Diyarbakir in 2005, has now taken a new shape," said Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, in reference to the then prime minister who spoke in the mainly Kurdish populated city and said more democracy, not more repression, was the answer to the conflict.

The PKK has fought for an independent Kurdish state since 1984. Its attacks have claimed approximately 36,000 lives in Turkey.

Turkey, the U.S. and the EU has designated the PKK a terrorist organization.

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