US-Turkey relations do not depend on individuals, Turkish PM says over Tillerson exit

US-Turkey relations do not depend on individuals, Turkish PM says over Tillerson exit

ANKARA
US-Turkey relations do not depend on individuals, Turkish PM says over Tillerson exit

Relations between the United States and Turkey do not depend on individuals, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said on March 14 after U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was sacked by President Donald Trump.

Speaking to journalists in Ankara before leaving for Azerbaijan, Yıldırım said: “Whoever comes in, Turkey’s stance is clear. It is not very important to us what the new secretary thinks about Turkey.”

Yıldırım said he hopes Tillerson’s departure from the state department will improve relations between the U.S. and Turkey.

“I hope healthier relations [with the U.S.] could be developed after that,” said Yıldırım.

Relations between the U.S. and Turkey do not depend on individuals, he stressed.

Trump on March 13 announced CIA Director Mike Pompeo as his pick to be the country’s new secretary of state, ousting Tillerson.

The White House and the State Department have had a number of high-profile clashes after Tillerson took the post as America’s top diplomat, including a glaring split during a dispute between Qatar and its Arab Gulf neighbors.

Trump and Tillerson have also been at odds over a number of key foreign policy issues, including climate change.

“We disagreed on things,” Trump told reporters before heading to California. “When you look at the Iran deal, I think it’s terrible, I guess he thought it was O.K. I wanted to either break it or do something, and he felt a little bit differently.”

Binali Yıldırım, Tillerson, United States, exit