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Turkmen, Arabs to Meet for Kerkuk

InternationalTurkmen and Arabs discomforted by the influx of Kurds into northern Iraq after the ouster of Saddam Hussein will gather in the former Iraqi leader's hometown of Tikrit to discuss the situation in the city of Kerkuk (Kirkuk) prior to the October 12th census.

Among the topics expected to dominate the agenda at the "Kirkuk Belongs to Everyone" meeting are the settlement of over 150,000 Kurds in Kirkuk and the exclusion of Turkmen and Arabs from administration positions.

Meanwhile, Iraq Turkmen Front (ITF) President Faruk Abdurrahman criticized the placement of some outside families in Kirkuk just before the census.

Abdurrahman told Turkey's Cihan news agency that one solution would be to cross-reference those Kurdish families allegedly forced from the city with the previous census records from 1957.

The Turkmen leader also stressed that the "restricted" Iraqi elections scheduled for January 2005 will not bring democracy to the country.


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