Turkey’s Erdogan calls on Washington, Moscow to withdraw troops from Syria
TURKISH President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has suggested Russia and Washington should pull their troops out of wartorn Syria after their leaders -Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump - said there was “no military solution” to the country’s long-running conflict.
“I am having trouble understanding these comments,” Erdogan was quoted by reporters as saying on Monday before he flew out to Russia’s coastal city of Sochi for talks with Putin.
“If a military solution (in Syria) is out of the question, then those who said this (Russia and the U.S.) Should pull their troops out ... and steps for a political solution should be taken,” he said.
Erdogan’s comments came two days after the Kremlin released a statement, issued on the sidelines of an Asia-pacific summit in Vietnam, in which Putin and Trump agreed there was no military solution to the conflict in Syria. They also called on all parties to take part in the Geneva process - diplomatic efforts to end Syria’s conflict under the auspices of the United Nations.
Russia has been a major backer of Syrian President Bashar al-assad, while the U.S. has been supporting the Syrian YPG Kurdish forces on the ground.
In his reported comments, Erdogan said neither Russia nor the US would be pulling out of Syria soon.