28 May, Monday

Turkish-US relations at critical point, FM Çavuşoğlu says ahead of Tillerson's visit


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Relations between the United States and Turkey are at a "very critical point," Foreign Minster Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said Monday ahead of U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's visit to Ankara.
"We will either fix [U.S.-Turkish] relations or they will break down completely," Çavuşoğlu said in a news conference during Turkey-Africa 2nd Ministerial Review Conference in Istanbul.
He also said that Ankara's expectations regarding continuous U.S. support for the PKK terror group's Syrian affiliates the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its armed wing the People's Protection Units (YPG).
"We don't want promises and pledges from the U.S., we want concrete steps [regarding the YPG]. For us to discuss several issues with the U.S., the lost trust needs to be restored. And the cause of the lost trust is the U.S.," Çavuşoğlu added.
The minister said the YPG, who the U.S. supports under excuse of fighting Daesh, "does not touch" Daesh.
Tillerson is expected to arrive in Turkey on Thursday for official talks over escalating PKK crisis between Washington and Ankara.
The visit comes amid Turkey's Operation Olive Branch which targets YPG and Daesh terrorists in northwestern Syria's Afrin region.
Relations between the two NATO allies have been strained recently over a number of issues.
Turkey strongly opposes U.S. military support for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which is dominated by the terrorist PKK-affiliated PYD and YPG, which constitute a serious threat to Turkey's security.

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