* Neighbours expect to deepen energy, security ties
* Not clear if gas intended for Nabucco pipeline
* Talks on PKK rebel group expected
(Adds details, background)
BAGHDAD, Oct 15 Turkey and Iraq will sign an
agreement on Thursday to transport Iraqi natural gas to Europe
via Turkey, as the two neighbours look to expand energy and
security ties, Turkish officials said.
Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and a large
government delegation was in Baghdad on Thursday where they
planned to meet Iraq's Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and other
Turkish officials said the two countries also planned to
sign deals extending an agreement over an Iraq-Turkey oil
pipeline as well as an accord to complete new power lines and
boost the capacity of existing cross-border lines.
Erdogan, whose country has improved ties with Iraq in recent
years, said before his departure to Baghdad that he also
expected to hold talks on boosting cooperation in the fight
against the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) guerrilla group,
which uses bases in northern Iraq to launch attacks on southeast
Some 40,000 people have been killed in Turkey since the PKK
took up arms to carve out an ethnic homeland in southeastern
Turkey. Turkey and Iraq have increased cooperation in the fight
against the PKK.
It was not immediately clear whether the gas intended for
export to Europe would pass through the planned 7.9 billion euro
Nabucco pipeline project, which has been conceived to cut
Europe's dependence on Russian gas.
Iraqi's al-Maliki has said that Iraq could supply some 15
billion cubic metres of gas through the Nabucco.
(Reporting by Pinar Aydinli in Baghdad; Writing by Thomas
Grove and Ibon Villelabeitia; Editing by William Hardy)