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Europe

France, Turkey sign anti-PKK cooperation deal

media Turkish Interior Minister Idris Naim Sahin (R) and France's Claude Guéant … Reuters/Umit Bektas

France and Turkey have signed a long-awaited deal that aims to increase a joint crackdown on the Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK), the Kurdish separatist group that has fought a long war with Ankara.

The row over President Nicolas Sarkozy’s declarations Armenia on Thursday and Friday did not prevent Turkey and France agreeing to work together to fight “terrorism”, notably to combat the PKK.

In Ankara on Friday French Interior Minister Claude Guéant and Turkey’s Idris Naim Sahin signed an agreement for “operational cooperation”, which would mean increased joint work of French and Turkish forces.

France has a large population of Kurds of Turkish origin and has arrested a number of suspected PKK activists.

The PKK is on the European Union’s list of terrorist organisations.

Guéant and Sahin faced a number of questions about Sarkozy’s remarks at the press conference where they announced the deal.

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