Tur­key hails Pom­peo com­ments over de­fense against ‘ter­ror­ists’

Global Times - - WORLD - Page Ed­i­tor: wang­[email protected] glob­al­times.com.cn

Tur­key on Satur­day wel­comed the lat­est state­ment made by Wash­ing­ton’s top diplo­mat over Ankara’s right to de­fend it­self from “ter­ror­ists” after the US with­draws from Syria.

“We find cor­rect his state­ment about the re­moval of the el­e­ments that con­cern Tur­key,” For­eign Min­is­ter Mev­lut Cavu­soglu said in a speech in the south­ern Turk­ish prov­ince of An­talya.

Cavu­soglu spoke on the phone Satur­day with US Sec­re­tary of State Mike Pom­peo, who was in Abu Dhabi as part of a re­gional tour, and they dis­cussed “the steps that need to be taken” in Syria, he said.

The lat­est com­ments fol­low ten­sions be­tween the US and Tur­key over the fate of Wash­ing­ton’s Syr­ian Kur­dish al­lies in the fight against Is­lamic State group ji­hadists.

Pom­peo had ear­lier said Wash­ing­ton rec­og­nized “the Turk­ish peo­ple’s right and (Turk­ish Pres­i­dent Re­cep Tayyip) Er­do­gan’s right to de­fend their coun­try from ter­ror­ists.”

But, he added, “we also know that those fight­ing along­side of us for all this time de­serve to be pro­tected as well.”

Tur­key had re­jected any sug­ges­tions that US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s plan to with­draw troops was con­di­tional on the safety of the US-backed Kur­dish Peo­ple’s Pro­tec­tion Units (YPG).

Ankara sees the YPG as a ter­ror­ist group linked to the Kur­dis­tan Worker’s Party (PKK) which has fought a decades­long in­sur­gency against the Turk­ish state.

Wash­ing­ton how­ever con­sid­ers the group as an ef­fec­tive force in the fight against IS.

Trump’s Na­tional Se­cu­rity Ad­vi­sor John Bolton had a tense meet­ing with Turk­ish of­fi­cials in Ankara this week.

Cavu­soglu

“re­jected and once again con­demned” Bolton’s com­ments on the con­di­tional with­drawal and said de­spite dif­fer­ent voices com­ing out from Wash­ing­ton, the Turk­ish pres­i­dent’s in­ter­locuter was Trump.

He re­peated Ankara’s threat to launch an of­fen­sive to erad­i­cate Syr­ian Kur­dish fight­ers from Syria.

“We will do what­ever needed to clear ter­ror across our bor­der,” he said. “No­body should doubt about it.”

Photo: AFP

A Syr­ian gov­ern­ment forces’ tank is seen at a po­si­tion in the vil­lage of Qart Saghir, north­west of the north­ern town of Man­bij, near the frontline with forces from the Tur­key-backed Euphrates Shield al­liance, on Satur­day.

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