21 June, Thursday

Those who see no military solution in Syria should withdraw their troops - Erdoğan


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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan urged Russia and the United States, without giving the names of the countries, to withdraw their troops if there was no military solution to the conflict in Syria.
Erdoğan, holding a press conference at Istanbul Atatürk Airport on Monday before his flight to Russia, criticized the joint statement made by Russian President Vladimir Putin and his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump on Nov. 11 regarding the ongoing conflict in Syria.
“The presidents agreed that there is no military solution to the conflict in Syria,” the statement read.
Stating that Turkey does not have any troops in the region, Erdoğan urged the two leaders not to resort to methods of deceiving the world, adding Turkey is the country that knows the region best.
“The U.S. has five air bases in northern Syria. Now, they are preparing for Raqqa. Russia has five air bases as well. These facts are obvious,” he said.
Earthquake in northern Iraq, Iran
Regarding the 7.3 magnitude earthquake that hit northern Iraq and the west of Iran on late Sunday, President Erdoğan offered his condolences to the victims. He pointed out that Turkey dispatched its relevant aid agencies right after the quake.
“A convoy of 50 trucks has entered Iraq through the Habur border gate, under the coordination of AFAD (Turkey's Disaster Management Agency) and Kızılay (Turkish Red Crescent).”
Erdoğan’s visit to Russia
Starting from Monday, the Turkish president will pay official visits to Russia, Kuwait and Qatar accompanied by a delegation, as his first visit will be to Russia’s Sochi. “We are paying our visit upon my dear friend Putin’s invitation, as a return visit. We will discuss the recent situation in Syria, and determine what steps should be taken.”
Erdoğan reminded that Turkey and Russia set their goal of trade volume as $100 billion, and said that most of the obstacles to the goal have been eliminated. The Turkish president said that he will readdress removing the obstacles to visa-free travel as well.
“We hosted more than 4,000,000 Russian tourists. We are in close cooperation in energy. We will discuss regional issues, particularly the recent meetings on Syria. Our Idlib-centered meetings are significant. Together [with Putin], we will evaluate President Putin and Trump’s joint statement.”
S-400 defense systems
Additionally, President Erdoğan said that he will discuss some technical details regarding the S-400 defense systems during his visit to Russia. Noting that the two countries’ national defense ministers are addressing the issue, “I want to take necessary steps after activating the system,” he added.
Kuwait, Qatar visit
Erdoğan noted that he will discuss the ongoing crisis between Qatar and the Gulf states during his visit to Kuwait.
He stated that he will fly to Qatar on Wednesday “where the deployment process of the Turkish Armed Forces is ongoing.”
“This is an indication of the importance that Turkey attributes to Qatar and the Gulf region,” he added.
Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Yemen cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing Doha of supporting terrorism. They also imposed a land, sea and air blockade.
A joint declaration accused 59 individuals and 12 charity groups in Qatar of being “linked to terror.” Qatar has called the move "unjustified" and denies the charges.

Yeni Shafak

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