Vienna, 16 May 1997/MS/15567/c-is

In a message sent to the President of the UN Security Council, the President of the International Progress Organization, Dr. Hans Koechler, called for the immediate withdrawal of Turkish troops from Iraqi territory.

The President of the I.P.O. strongly condemned the massive incursion of the Turkish military into Northern Iraq. This constitutes an act of aggression that cannot be tolerated by the international community. It furthermore threatens peace and security in the whole region of the Middle East, Dr. Koechler stated.

The President of the I.P.O. underlined that the repeated violations of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq by Turkish troops are carried out with the approval of the U.S. administration that has unilaterally declared a so-called "safe haven" for the Kurdish population and imposed a so-called "no-fly zone" over the North of Iraq -- in violation of basic rules of international law and the UN Charter.

It is an example of a "policy of double standards" when the U.S. administration accepts aggression by the Turkish army against the very area in the North of Iraq which the U.S.-led alliance has vowed to protect.

The President of the I.P.O. recalled the recent moves towards an institutionalized co-operation of the Turkish and Israeli military to the detriment of Turkey's Arab and Muslim neighbours. The ongoing military incursion into Iraq should be analyzed in this context of a new Turkish-Israeli military alliance, he said.