25 June, Monday

No dispute with Russia, Iran on Afrin, Idlib - Erdoğan


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President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan made important statements and answered the questions of press members on his way back to Turkey from Kazakhstan, where he was paying an official visit.
On the understanding with Russia and Iran regarding Idlib and Afrin within the scope of the Astana process, Erdoğan said that the agreement with the two countries, particularly on Idlib, continues without any problems. Stressing the importance of the Astana Summit to be held on Sept. 14, Erdoğan said that Russia and Turkey are not in dispute regarding the process, as well as the meeting with Iran included no item that might cause any dispute. “I believe that healthy meetings will be maintained after the Astana Summit. The meetings have been positive,” Erdoğan added.
Erdogan and Trump's phone call
Regarding his telephone call with U.S. President Donald Trump during his visit to Kazakhstan, Erdoğan said that they addressed the necessity of strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries. Erdoğan and Trump also stated in the phone call that Turkey and the U.S. are strategic partners, and that this situation should reflect on relations, the President said.
The conversation also included regional issues, particularly the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar. Erdoğan expressed to his U.S. counterpart the importance of the United States showing sensitivity to the plight of Rohingya Muslims. The President and Trump also agreed on the fact that these issues should be discussed face to face at the U.N. General Assembly, and that this will be realized.

‘I do not intend to meet with Assad’
Erdoğan answered a journalist’s question regarding the allegations on social media that he met with the Syrian regime’s President Bashar al-Assad. He said that these allegations were deliberate, and added: “I did not meet with Assad, and I do not intend to do so.”
Downpayment for S-400 system
Erdoğan also addressed the purchase of the S-400 defense system from Russia, stating that the agreement has already been signed. “As far as I know, our officials made the down payment. The next process will continue with a loan to be transferred from Russia to us. Both [Russian] President Putin and I are determined on this issue,” Erdoğan stated.
He said that no one has the right to discuss the Republic of Turkey’s principles or decisions of independence regarding its defense industry or defense in general.
“We make our own decisions regarding our independence; we are obliged to take protection and security measures to defend our country. In the case that we have difficulty in procuring means of defense, and face obstacles many times, we will take care of ourselves.”
Erdoğan said Turkey could not purchase unarmed aircraft from its allies before, as they were demanding huge amounts of money. However, he said, they provide terrorist organizations with tanks, artillery and armored vehicles, and Turkey cannot procure some of its needs although it offers to pay the cost.
Turkey-Germany relations
In answer to a question regarding Turkey-Germany relations, the President said that they have “no problem with the German nation.” The problem, Erdoğan stressed, derives from erroneous attitudes of the German authorities, which should be stopped.
“In case they maintain their attacks, as the Republic of Turkey, we for sure cannot make any allowances for our honor. We cannot accept Germany as a country that harbors terrorists. We are disappointed in the German government due to their erroneous attitude. Yes, they are in an election period. But we are not concerned about who will win the election.”

Yeni Shafak

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