PKK rebels must stop fighting, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani said on Wednesday, fearing Ankara could approve a possible military incursion in Iraq against the Kurdish group.
Talabani, who is an ethnic Kurd, sought to project unity between the Turkish and Iraqi governments as Turkey's parliament appeared set to approve potential military action in northern Iraq to chase separatists in the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK.
"We consider activities of PKK against the interests of the Kurdish people first and then against the interests of Turkey, against the new trend of democracy in Turkey," Talabani told reporters in Paris after meeting with French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
Talabani said he hoped the "wisdom" of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and other Turkish leaders "will be so active that there will be no military intervention" - even if one is authorized.
"We have asked the PKK to stop fighting, to end the so-called military activity," Talabani said. "Otherwise, we ask them if they are not, that they please leave our country."
Talabani praised "fruitful" talks Wednesday between Turkish leaders and Iraq's vice president Tariq al-Hashimi, who was dispatched by Baghdad amid rising fears of a new front in the Iraq war.