Leaders to discuss Iraq troop deployment

However, a final decision on Turkey’s response to a US request to send troops to Iraq as part of an international stability force is not expected to be made until the next National Security Council, scheduled for August 22.
It has been reported that the Justice and Development party (AKP) government favours deploying troops to Iraq in order to improve relations with Washington after Ankara rejected a motion to contribute soldiers to the Iraq War. The AKP administration also sees this request for troops as an opportunity to have a say on the military and political reshaping of neighbouring Iraq.
Turkey’s armed forces have also highlighted the need for a possible involvement in Iraq, underscored by a statement from General Yaşar Büyükanıt, the Deputy Chief of the General Staff on Sunday.
The only strong opponent to the move is believed to be President Sezer, who has stressed the need for an United Nations resolution before deploying troops.
However, General Büyükanıt, as the spokesman for the military, also said Sunday that it would be a mistake to wait for a UN resolution that did not seem likely.
Yet another factor in the decision to be made is the response of Washington to questions put by Ankara regarding any possible deployment and some pre-conditions set.

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