ANKARA, Turkey, Aug. 24 (UPI) -- Israeli Ambassador to Turkey Pinhas Avivi has commented on the possibility of a Kurdish state emerging in Iraq, a possibility that greatly concerns Turkey.
During an interview with the Turkish daily Hurriyet Avivi said, "I can assure you that Israel is not working against Turkey's interests in Northern Iraq." Avivi also indicated that Israel would be against formation of an independent Kurdish state arising from the disintegration of Iraq, adding that rumors of Israel supporting the proposed Kurdish state were completely baseless and blamed the rumors as "the product of the Iranian Embassy in Ankara."
"We want stability in the region. We wish for Iraq to be a united, Western-oriented and democratic country. Every development opposed to this hurts both Turkey and Israel," he said.
The Middle Eastern media has been reporting for months that Israel has a covert presence in northern Iraq's Kurdish regions, where it is in contact with Kurdish separatists. The media reports comment that Israel's major objective in northern Iraq is to secure access to the region's oil resources, a charge that Tel Aviv has consistently denied.
Avivi also commented on what would happen if Turkey and its 70 million people enter the European Union by saying, "What you really have to ask is what will happen to the European Union if Turkey is NOT a member."