ANKARA, Turkey – Jailed Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan says he hopes peace talks with Turkey will succeed.
Ocalan's message was read by Kurdish legislators who met him on his prison island off Istanbul on Sunday. Earlier in the week, these lawmakers also met with Kurdish rebel commanders based in northern Iraq.
The rebels declared a ceasefire last month, heeding a call by Ocalan, who is engaged in talks with Turkish officials to end the nearly 30-year-old Kurdish rebel conflict.
The efforts, however, appear to have hit a snag over Turkish demands that the rebels retreat from Turkey unarmed. A Kurdish party leader has said the insurgents are hesitant about withdrawing fighters without legal guarantees from Turkey.
The conflict between Turkey and the rebels has killed tens of thousands of people since 1984.