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Turkish president writes off Greek premier over his remarks in US

Ankara cancels Strategic Council Meeting with Athens due to Greek Premier Mitsotakis' remarks, says Turkish President Erdogan

Dilara Hamit and Seda Sevencan   | 23.05.2022
Turkish president writes off Greek premier over his remarks in US

ANKARA

The Greek premier’s comments on Turkiye on an official visit to the US have effectively made him a nonentity, said President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday.

“We had agreed with (Kyriakos Mitsotakis) to not include third countries in our dispute,” Erdogan said after chairing a Cabinet meeting in the capital Ankara. Despite this agreement, last week during an official US visit the premier spoke at Congress and urged them not to sell F-16 fighter jets to Turkiye, he added.

The US will likely make up its own mind on the F-16s without needing to consult the Greek premier, Erdogan added.

Erdogan also said that in light of the Greek leader’s remarks, Turkiye is calling off a Strategic Council Meeting with Greece.

Mitsotakis’ remarks last week to the US Congress have come under fire from Turkiye, culminating in Erdogan declaring that the premier “no longer exists” for him.

Turkiye's southern border, space program

On national security, Erdogan said the country will take steps to complete the remainder of a 30-kilometer (18-mile) safe zone along its southern border.

Turkiye borders Syria and Iraq to its south, and has worked to eliminate existing terrorist bases and prevent new ones that would threaten national security and the safety of locals across its borders.

Turning to Turkiye’s space program, Erdogan stated that Turkiye has officially started the process of submitting Turkish citizens to serve aboard the International Space Station.

On the Russia-Ukraine war, the president said Turkiye has given the most significant, concrete, and beneficial support to Ukraine, the attack on whose territorial integrity and sovereign rights Ankara has openly rejected.

“We have bravely expressed this attitude of ours to Russia as well at every level and platform where we are in contact with them,” said Erdogan.

He underlined that Turkiye has made the sincerest efforts to first reach a cease-fire and then achieve lasting peace in the region by maintaining political and humanitarian ties with Moscow.

On Turkiye’s refusal to approve Finland and Sweden’s NATO membership bids unless the countries take a firm stance against terrorism, Erdogan said: “If the countries applying for NATO membership look at their past, they will see that we have made major contributions to them as well against the threats arising from the east. Our approach to NATO’s enlargement originates not from bigotry or animosity but from our principled stance on combatting terrorism.”

Erdogan said Ankara finds the ongoing anti-Turkiye approaches in Sweden and Finland unacceptable, stressing that just a few days ago, the terrorist groups PKK/YPG and DHKP-C marched down the streets of Stockholm with posters showing their ringleaders.

Finland and Sweden should make a choice between giving de facto and political support to terrorist groups or waiting for Turkiye to agree to their NATO membership, he said.

In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Turkiye, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Turkiye, the US, and EU – has been responsible for the deaths of over 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants. The YPG is PKK’s Syrian offshoot. Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.
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