It is Turkey's right to expect Donald Trump to keep his word not to give PKK/PYD terror group weapons, says Mevlut Cavusoglu
Turkey expects U.S. President Donald Trump to keep his promise to stop supplying arms to the terrorist PKK/PYD and PKK/YPG, Turkey’s foreign minister said on Saturday.
It is Turkey's "natural" right to expect Trump to stick to his word "not to give the PKK/PYD terror group weapons anymore," Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters in the Mediterranean province of Antalya.
"We would like to see implementation” of Trump's promise, he added.
In a Friday phone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Trump “clearly stated that weapons will not be given to the YPG anymore and said that essentially this nonsense should have been ended before," Cavusoglu said on Friday.
Referring to Turkish cross-border operations against Daesh over the last year, Cavusoglu told the reporters: "Why were Turkmens and Syrians in Turkey able to return to areas we cleared of Daesh, but 300,000 Kurds in the region were unable to go back to areas cleared by the YPG?
“Because they fear the terror group [YPG]."
Countries like the U.S. should not even "cooperate with terror groups from the start since they themselves have long suffered from terror," he argued.
The PYD and its military wing YPG are Syrian branches of the PKK terrorist network, which has waged war against Turkey for more than 30 years.
While recognizing the PKK as a terrorist group, the U.S. has treated the PKK/PYD/YPG as an ally in its anti-Daesh efforts, despite its PKK ties as documented by Turkey.
Since the PKK launched its terror campaign in Turkey in 1984, tens of thousands of people have been killed.
Turning to Turkish-European Union relations, Cavusoglu said: "Turkey is critically important for the security and stability of Europe."
"Europe today is struggling with big problems, it is staggering... It can’t solve the issues its people are facing," said.
Criticized rising Islamophobia and racism in European states, he said, "Europe is undergoing a real axis shift."