Turkey not working on new mandate for military action in Iraq: minister

ANKARA Thu Jun 12, 2014 4:43am EDT

Iraqi security forces leave a military base as Kurdish forces take over control in Kirkuk June 11, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer

Iraqi security forces leave a military base as Kurdish forces take over control in Kirkuk June 11, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Stringer

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ANKARA (Reuters) - The Turkish government is not working on any new mandate to authorise a cross-border military operation into Iraq, where militants are holding 80 Turkish nationals hostage, Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said on Thursday.

"The issue of whether the existing mandate is sufficient (for a military operation) or a new mandate is required is among the issues being discussed. But right now there is no work being conducted for a new mandate," Bozdag told reporters in Ankara.

A parliamentary mandate allowing Turkey to conduct cross-border military operations in Iraq expires in October. It was drafted to enable Ankara to strike at bases of Kurdish PKK militants in the north of the country.

(Reporting by Orhan Coskun; Writing by Nick Tattersall: editing by John Stonestreet)

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