US sorry for not considering Ankara’s proposals on Syria: Turkish foreign minister
AFP PhotoU.S. officials have told their Turkish counterparts that Washington is sorry for not taking Ankara’s proposals and views on increasing radicalism in Syria and Iraq into consideration, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has claimed.
“U.S. officials, including [Secretary of State John] Kerry, have told me that they were now sorry for not taking Turkey’s opinions, proposals and findings into consideration at the time,” Çavuşoğlu said on Feb. 4, speaking in a televised interview.
Turkey urged the U.S. for more support to the opposition Syrian National Coalition in order to maintain the political transition in Syria, warning that otherwise marginal and terrorist groups could find room if Syrian President Bashar al-Assad remained in place, he added.
Similar to Syria, Ankara also warned that former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s repressive rule in Baghdad would pave the way to radicalization in the country, Çavuşoğlu also claimed, criticizing the U.S.’s strategies on preventing radicalization in the Middle East.
“On the one hand, they are against radicalization, but then they [the Egyptian government] designate Ihvan [the Muslim Brotherhood] as a terrorist group and convict 183 of them to death sentence,” he said, while adding that despite the Brotherhood’s blacklisting the Egyptian people still resisted radicalization.
Elaborating on cooperation with third countries against foreign fighters who want to join ranks of ISIL, Çavuşoğlu said there had been an increase in intelligence sharing.
He particularly cited the Indian foreign minister’s recent visit to Turkey and said the two counties were sharing intelligence information as many Indian citizens were in the region.
Turkey has put a travel ban on 9,915 foreign fighters, deporting 1,065 people so far, Çavuşoğlu said.
On the issue of the extradition or deportation of U.S.-based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gülen, the foreign minister said Ankara has briefed Washington on the reasons why it demands deportation and the U.S. has requested legal documents. The process will continue through those legal documents, he added.