Turkish foreign minister arrives in Baghdad

Turkey's foreign minister arrived in Baghdad today for talks with his Iraqi counterpart and the nation's president, both Kurds, on the border crisis.

Turkey's foreign minister arrived in Baghdad today for talks with his Iraqi counterpart and the nation's president, both Kurds, on the border crisis.

The flurry of diplomatic activity came as Turkish military helicopters airlifted commando units to the Iraqi border overnight after an ambush by rebel Kurds left eight soldiers missing and 12 dead.

A spokesman for the rebel Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, said the Turkish soldiers being held captive were seized during fighting and would be treated with respect, but he said it was "premature" to talk about conditions for their release.

"We are responsible for the safety of the captives in compliance with international laws," PKK spokesman Abdul-Rahman al-Chadarchi said.

"The soldiers were seized as they were attacking our forces. They are all in good shape."

Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan was expected to pressure the Iraqis to crack down on the rebels based in the mountains of the autonomous Kurdish territory in northern Iraq during his talks with Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari and Iraqi President Jalal Talabani.

Both Iraqi leaders are Kurdish but have disavowed the violence from rebel forces.

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