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Ban welcomes call for ceasefire and withdrawal by Kurdish armed group

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A wide view of Shanidar Cave in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. © UN Photo/Bikem Ekberzade

22 March 2013 – Secretary General Ban Ki-moon today welcomed the call by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), an armed group operating out of northern Iraq, for a cease-fire and withdrawal of its forces from Turkish territory.

“This is a positive step towards putting an end to the deadly conflict that has brought much suffering and grief to the people of Turkey,” Mr Ban’s spokesperson said in response to questions from correspondents.

“The Secretary-General hopes that this call will be fully implemented and that it will result in a lasting peaceful settlement,” he added, affirming that the UN stands prepared to support the people of Turkey in what he called “this important process.”