Coups, military intervention not the answer in Venezuela: Turkey
ANKARA – Anadolu Agency
The crisis in Venezuela can be solved through talking and working together, not sending in troops or overthrowing the government, Turkey's foreign minister said on May 2.
"Turkey is opposed to military intervention and coups. Problems can be solved through dialogue and cooperation," Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu told a joint news conference with his Paraguayan counterpart Luis Alberto Castiglioni in Turkey's capital Ankara.
Also touching on the phone call between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump on April 29, he said they discussed a range of issues in a positive atmosphere.
Trump wants to visit Turkey this summer, following his June trip to Europe, Çavuşoğlu added.
On Turkish-U.S. relations, Çavuşoğlu said: "We don't agree on everything yet, but I can say that we have made progress and gained ground."
Venezuela has been rocked by protests since Jan. 10, when President Nicolas Maduro was sworn in for a second term following a vote boycotted by the opposition.
Tensions escalated when Juan Guaido, who heads Venezuela's National Assembly, declared himself acting president, a move supported by the U.S. and many European and Latin American countries.
Russia, Turkey, China, Iran, Bolivia and Mexico have thrown their weight behind Maduro.
On April 30, Guaido posted a video on social media calling for an uprising to end the "usurpation" of Maduro.
Erdoğan denounced the move, saying: "We, as a country which has experienced coups and their negative consequences, condemn the coup bid in Venezuela."
Iran, Sudan, Libya
Speaking on the U.S. ending sanctions waivers for countries that buy Iranian oil, Çavuşoğlu stressed that from Japan to European countries, there is "significant discomfort" over the decision.
"America should review these decisions," he added.
The U.S. announced last month that it would be ending sanctions waivers it had granted to countries - including Turkey - still buying Iranian oil.
It reimposed the sanctions last November after unilaterally withdrawing from the Iranian nuclear deal.
Çavuşoğlu also said that he hopes Sudan's administration will start working soon to fulfill public demands.
The country has been in political turmoil since the army announced Omar al-Bashir's ouster on April 11 following months of popular protest against his continued rule.
A Military Transitional Council (MTC) is now overseeing a two-year “transitional period” during which it has pledged to hold free presidential elections.
Thousands of demonstrators, however, have remained in the streets of capital Khartoum to demand that the MTC hand over power - at the earliest possible date - to a civilian authority.
Speaking on Libya's current conflict, Çavuşoğlu said that Turkey sees that some countries giving direct support and even weapons to Khalifa Haftar, who commands forces loyal to Libya's eastern government.
"Those who supports a military solution instead of a political solution should not forget that Libya would again be dragged into a long-term civil war," he said.
In early April, Haftar launched a campaign to capture Tripoli from Libya's UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA).
Libya has remained beset by turmoil since long-serving leader Muammar Gaddafi was ousted and killed in a bloody NATO-backed uprising in 2011.
Since then, the country has seen the emergence of two rival seats of power: one in eastern Libya, to which Haftar is affiliated, and the other, the GNA, in Tripoli.
Speaking alongside Castiglioni, Çavuşoğlu said Turkey and Paraguay will work to boost investments and mutual trade as well as develop political and cultural ties.
For his part, Castiglioni said that Paraguay is an important platform in Latin America for Turkey, adding his visit will pave the way for future visits to make progress in legal, economic, and trade ties.