A planned joint presser following a meeting between U.S top officials and their Turkish counterparts on Syria is cancelled, instead, President Erdogan took the floor in the parliament and broiled Washington’s demands.
“U.S. President Donald Trump’s National Security Adviser John Bolton’s remarks regarding the PKK’s Syrian offshoot People’s Protection Units (YPG) are unacceptable, and Turkey cannot accept the U.S.’ condition of protecting YPG terrorists,” President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Tuesday.
Speaking at the Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) parliamentary group meeting, Erdoğan targeted Mr Bolton rather than President Trump and emphasized Turkey’s determination to clear YPG out of Syria after U.S. forces leave the country.
“YPG cannot represent the Kurds. Turkey cannot accept the U.S.’ condition of ensuring the safety of YPG terrorists in Syria,” Erdoğan said.
Before his appearance in the parliament, U.S. and Turkish officials(led by Erdogan’s spokesperson İbrahim Kalın), not including Erdogan, held a meeting in Ankara lasted more than 2 hours to frame the road-map of dimensions of Turkish military presence in northeastern Syria after U.S. troops withdrawal.
Surprisingly, a planned news conference is cancelled and Erdogan harshly criticized Trump administration’s requirement, “Turks have to pledge not to attack Kurds”, as if and only if condition for a full withdrawal from Syria.
Though the background details of the talks in Ankara remain obscure, Mr Bolton abruptly decided to leave Turkey after President Erdogan refused to meet with him, which was also a planned one in advance before Bolton’s arrival to Turkey.
“Bolton and Kalın had a productive discussion regarding the United States’ decision to withdraw from Syria,” a spokesperson for the U.S. National Security Council Garrett Marquis said after the meeting Tuesday morning.
Marquis added in a statement that the two sides had identified further issues for dialogue and that the U.S. looks forward to ongoing military-to-military consultations.
U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford and James Jeffrey, the U.S. special representative for Syria and the special envoy for the anti-Daesh coalition, also attended the meeting.