U.S. President George W. Bush called for Turkey's offensive against Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq to "end as soon as possible."

"It should not be long-lasting," Bush said, speaking to reporters Thursday at the White House briefing room. "The Turks need to move, move quickly, achieve their objective and get out."

Earlier, U.S. Defence Secretary Robert Gates said Turkey hasn't given any time frame for ending its military operations, despite urgings from Washington.

Gates said he told his Turkish counterpart on Wednesday that the incursion should end as soon as possible, but he acknowledged the U.S. has not made any threats if Turkey does not comply.

"The key is for us to make clear what our interests are, our concerns about the situation in Iraq," Gates said at a news conference with Turkish Defence Minister Vecdi Gonul. "What is important is to serve both the interests of the United States and Turkey, because I think we have shared interests.

"I think that those interests are probably not advanced by making threats or threatening to cut off intelligence," Gates added.

Before flying to Turkey, Gates said that withdrawal should come in a matter of days, or weeks, rather than months.

Turkey claims more than 200 Kurdish PKK rebels have been killed since Turkish fighter jets, helicopters and hundreds of commandos crossed into northern Iraq seven days ago.

The Turkish government has blamed the PKK for 40,000 deaths since the group took up arms in 1984. The separatist group, which seeks to establish a separate Kurdish state in southeastern Turkey, has attacked Turkish targets from bases in northern Iraq.

The United States, Canada and the European Union list the PKK as a terrorist organization.

The Iraqi government has demanded an immediate withdrawal of the troops from northern Iraq.

Gonul said the Turks have no intention of disturbing civilian areas of Iraq or occupying any portion of Iraq. He said the main goal is to destroy the PKK network, which would contribute both to the security in Iraq as well as stability in the region.

With files from the Associated Press