EU cannot ‘urge’ Turkey to withdraw from Syria: Minister

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Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has harshly grilled Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde at a joint press conference in Ankara for “urging” Turkey to withdraw from northeastern Syria in a bid not to prevent the YPG from fighting the ISIL.

“You urge Turkey to withdraw from Syria. In diplomacy, using the word ‘urge’ is not a right approach as it is a reflection of looking down on. You may say ‘call on’ but not urge,” Çavuşoğlu lashed out on Linde during the press conference on Oct.13

“Who gave you the power to urge or to call on Turkey to withdraw from Syria? Did the regime in Syria gave such authorization to Sweden or the EU?” Çavuşoğlu asked.

His reaction followed after Linde urged Turkey to withdraw from northeastern Syria in a bid to ease the conditions for the YPG to fight against the ISIL. Linde recalled that Sweden and Turkey were both parties to the international coalition against the ISIL.

PKK is a terror organization listed by the EU, but the SDF (Syrian Democratic Forces) is not on the terror list, she stressed.

“PKK, YPG, SDF are all the same. They are terrorists,” Çavuşoğlu said, accusing Sweden of supporting the PKK.

“We always underline that we are here to protect the territorial integrity of Syria at the foremost. We don’t want to divide Syria. But you defend the PKK, which wants to divide Syria,” he added.

Recalling that Turkey has troops in Idlib and other parts of Syria from where the ISIL was evacuated by Turkey, Çavuşoğlu said, “Do you also call on Turkey to withdraw from Idlib where the ISIL is located or from the other regions where the ISIL was cleared? You just call Turkey’s withdrawal for the PKK.

Hurriyet Daily News

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