Sign In / Up

Add contribution as a guest

Your email will not be displayed publicly
Benefit of signing in/signing up to personalize comment

Comment as a guest

Your email will not be displayed publicly
Benefit of signing in/signing up to personalize comment

Login

Not a member Register   Forgot Password
or connect using
 

Email

 

Rudaw

World

US, Turkey tell each other to choose: NATO or not

By Rudaw 3/4/2019
A US State Department staffer adjusts a Turkish flag before a meeting between US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu at the US Department of State in Washington, DC on April 3, 2019. Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP
A US State Department staffer adjusts a Turkish flag before a meeting between US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu at the US Department of State in Washington, DC on April 3, 2019. Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The vice presidents of the United States and Turkey traded barbs on Wednesday, each accusing the other of undermining the NATO alliance in the latest development in their dispute over Ankara’s military ties with Moscow and Washington’s backing of armed Kurdish groups in Syria. 

“Turkey must choose. Does it want to remain a critical partner in the most successful military alliance in history or does it want to risk the security of that partnership by making such reckless decisions that undermine our alliance?” US Vice President Mike Pence said at a NATO event in Washington where the military alliance is celebrating their 70th anniversary. 

Pence was referring to Turkey’s decision to purchase the Russian-made S-400 missile defence system. The United States has argued that Ankara’s purchase could expose NATO to potential security risks. This week, Washington announced it was halting deliveries of F-35 fighter jets to Turkey until Ankara walked back on its deal with Moscow. 

In Washington, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu repeated his government’s stance that the purchase of the S-400 is a “done deal,” but sought to reassure allies that it will not pose a threat to the military alliance. 

“This system will not see any NATO system, including F-35s,” he said, Anadolu Agency reported. 

"We don't see our relations with Russia as an alternative to our relations with others. And nobody, neither the West nor Russia, should or can ask us to choose between,” he said.

Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay responded on Twitter to Pence's ultimatum: “The United States must choose. Does it want to remain Turkey’s ally or risk our friendship by joining forces with terrorists to undermine its NATO ally’s defense against its enemies?”

The “terrorists” Oktay accused the US of backing are armed Kurdish groups in Syria. The People’s Protection Units (YPG) are the backbone of the global war against ISIS in northern Syria. The United States and coalition allies have armed, trained, and fought alongside the YPG and the umbrella Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), defeating the so-called ISIS caliphate. 

Ankara considers the YPG a branch of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and a terror organization. The YPG denies the charge. 

The United States is withdrawing most of its troops from northern Syria, leaving 400 soldiers behind. Washington and Ankara are trying to work out an agreement that will alleviate Turkey’s security concerns along its border with northern Syria and protect America’s Kurdish allies from a threatened Turkish military offensive. They have floated the idea of a safe zone, though they have offered few details about what that would look like and who would monitor it. 

Cavusoglu was asked if he understood US policy in Syria. “No, and this is the problem,” he replied, AFP reported. 

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will travel to Moscow on Monday to meet his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. 

Comments

 
w | 4/4/2019
No surprise. Even the US does not understand the US policy in Syria. At the core, it seems more money, power, oil, arms trade than anything else. Kurdish semi-autonomy has been the only bright spot in the turmoil.
Love Kurdistan | 4/4/2019
Turkey should have been kicked out of NATO in 2003. They won't fit in EU and are no longer a good fit in NATO.
Pete | 4/4/2019
The Turks are terrorists, indistinguishable from ISIS, and should be treated accordingly. They are enemies of NATO.
Toralf | 4/4/2019
Turkys problems with it's minority population, the kurds, are due to discrimination and rasisme. This policy has continued for decades and should be addressed by UN.
Post a New Comment
Comment as a guest or Login for more enhanced interactive experience

Be Part of Your Rudaw!

Share your stories, photos and videos with Rudaw, and quite possibly the world.

What You Say

export import | 4/23/2019 12:07:41 AM
oil covers less than 50& of iranian income. majority comes form drugs smuggling
IranMan | 4/23/2019 5:42:25 AM
"“Our ultimate goal is to get other states and non-state entities to stop doing business [with] the IRGC,”... How sweet!
US won’t be renewing oil waivers: Pompeo
| yesterday at 04:40 | (2)
Şivan | 4/21/2019 4:16:10 AM
Sorry to hear the loose of such a valuable personality.As a Kurd From Northern Kurdistan I appreciate his work for the Oppressed Kurdistan People.A...
Sawsan Rasheed | 4/23/2019 4:54:43 AM
Ralph Fertig is an Expert on the civil rights movement, federal administrative law and social justice issues.an author..and a professor such a person...
A Kurdish tribute to Ralph Fertig's visions and struggle
| 19/4/2019 | (7)
Sjcb | 4/23/2019 3:40:23 AM
Erdogen deserves a blow to their party for once. He needs to go bye bye.
Member of ruling AKP arrested for attack on Turkish opposition leader
| yesterday at 12:44 | (1)
pre-Boomer Marine brat | 4/22/2019 11:13:36 PM
I would add a fourth element to your closing strategy (which is dead-bang on target.) ... There must be what hasn't been in Islam for a millennia,...
Sri Lanka attacks and the strategy of terrorism
| 20 hours ago | (1)

Elsewhere on Rudaw

Journalism watchdog calls for investigations to be reopened in Kurdistan 2 hours ago |

Journalism watchdog calls for investigations to be reopened in Kurdistan

Kurdish Journalism Day is celebrated on April 22 more
Sri Lanka attacks and the strategy of terrorism 20 hours ago | (1)

Sri Lanka attacks and the strategy of terrorism

Targeting local Christians and foreigners more
Turkey to restore relations with Erbil ahead of Cavusoglu visit: business leaders 21 hours ago | (2)

Turkey to restore relations with Erbil ahead of Cavusoglu visit: business leaders

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu will more
0.375 seconds