Erdogan takes a swipe at Russia, US missions
ANKARA/SOCHI: Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan took swipes at US and Russian interventions in Syria yesterday and said if countries believed a military solution was impossible, they should withdraw their troops.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart Donald Trump said in a joint statement on Saturday they would continue to fight against Islamic State in Syria, while agreeing there was no military solution to the conflict.
“I am having trouble understanding these comments,” Erdogan said before flying to Russia for talks with Putin. “If a military solution is out of the question, then those who say this should pull their troops out. “We will discuss these with Putin.” After more than four hours of talks with Putin in Sochi, Erdogan said they had agreed to focus on a political solution.
Putin said Russia would continue to work on Syria with Turkey and their efforts were yielding results. Neither leader went into detail. Asked if the two discussed Erdogan’s earlier comments, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said the talks were about more complex issues which could not be made public.
Turkish troops have also fought in Syria to halt the advance of Kurdish YPG forces along its frontier. – Reuters