AA / Washington
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the United States should decide whether it intends to cooperate with terrorist organizations in the region like the PKK / YPG or with Turkey, their NATO ally.
This is what emerges from an interview given to the American channel “CBS”, while he was in New York a few days ago, to participate in the meeting of the General Assembly of the United Nations.
Regarding what it means for Turkey that “the American people have not shown support for the United States military intervention in the Middle East”, President Erdogan replied: “This is up to the ‘America, and this is not for us to determine.
Regarding Ankara’s policy in the same context, he added: “We are the ones who decide what we will do in the Middle East.”
Erdogan stressed that the United States was bound to decide whether it intended to cooperate with terrorist organizations in the region or with Turkey, its NATO ally:
“America is a member of NATO, and Turkey is a member of NATO. Will America cooperate with terrorist organizations in the region such as the PKK, PYD, YPG, or with Turkey, its ally in NATO? It must decide in this regard. I would rather choose the second option “.
In response to the question of “whether US President Joe Biden spoke of his intention to change US policy towards its allies in Syria and Iraq” when he met Erdogan a few months ago in Brussels, the Turkish president replied: “We have not had the opportunity to address these issues because we have focused on Afghanistan.”
And to add: “But I always explained to the friends American leaders our position vis-à-vis the terrorist organizations PKK, PYD and YPG, and this, also in the time of (former President Donald) Trump. “
He said he had asked questions about the fate of the thousands of trucks of arms and ammunition supplied by the United States to the YPG (a branch of the PKK in Syria under the pretext of fighting Daesh).
President Erdogan stressed that Turkey has not received a positive response in this regard.
Referring to the presence of the 900 American soldiers in Syria, and whether he wanted them to stay in Syria or if they had to leave, President Erdogan replied: “Of course, if it was up to me, I would rather they leave Syria and Iraq as they left Afghanistan, because if we are to serve world peace, there is no sense in staying in these areas for the sake of peace. “
He added: “Let the peoples of these regions decide for themselves who will govern them.”
Regarding Turkey’s role in Syria, President Erdogan said Turkey is currently building 100,000 houses in Syria for the displaced people, adding: “But what are other countries doing?”
In response to the question “Are you going to discuss these issues with (Russian President) Vladimir Putin?” President Erdogan replied: “We are already discussing these issues with Putin”.
He expressed his wish that the United States, Russia, Iran and Turkey work together to achieve peace and stability for the peoples of this region, whether in Syria or Iraq.
* Translated from Arabic by Mourad Belhaj
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