Erdogan calls on Obama to take unified stance in Syria

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan underlined that both Turkey and the US have a “special relation”, but stressed they “should adopt a shared attitude against all terrorist organisations as NATO member countries.”

Courtesy of: Reuters
Courtesy of: Reuters

Erdogan and Obama speak to reporters after their meeting alongside the G20 Summit

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told his United States counterpart, President Barack Obama that their countries will continue to maintain a "model partnership," but called for a unified stance against the existence of the PKK/PYD in northern Syria.

Erdogan and Obama held a 45-minute closed meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit in China, their first since the July 15 coup attempt in Turkey left 240 people dead and 2,200 others injured.

Obama tracks down Erdogan for a brief private conversation after they gave remarks to reporters following their bilateral meeting alongside the G20 Summit in Hangzhou, China.

The discussion comes less than two weeks after Turkey launched an anti-DAESH operation, called Euphrates Shield.

The operation aims to support US-led coalition forces and strengthen Turkey's border security by clearing terrorist groups and maintain Syria’s territorial integrity.

Erdogan underlined on Sunday that the countries have a “special relation”, but stressed that they “should adopt a shared attitude against all terrorist organisations as NATO member countries”.

“There is no good terrorist or bad terrorist; every kind of terrorism is bad."

Erdogan stressed that Turkey’s fight against terror organisations such as DAESH in Syria and Iraq as well as PKK and its Syrian branch, the PYD, would continue.

“We do not want the formation of a terror corridor on our southern [border],” he said, adding that Turkey’s military was fighting alongside coalition forces with this objective.

“I believe we will be successful in this fight,” Erdogan underlined.

Earlier, the US had urged Turkey to focus its efforts in Syria on DAESH, and to avoid engaging with the YPG-led "Syrian Democratic Forces", Washington’s principal partner in Syria.

Turkey views the YPG as the Syrian offshoot of the PKK terror group, which the US and European Union also list as a terrorist organization.

Ankara has insisted the group return to the east bank of the Euphrates River immediately, calling on the US to fulfill its commitment in this regard, and has targeted the group south of Jarablus.

Erdogan and Obama also addressed Sunday the extradition of US-based Fetullah Gulen, who Turkey says he is the leader of the Fetullah Terrorist Organisation (FETO), which is accused of masterminding the July 15 coup attempt.

Obama reassured Erdogan that the US would work to ensure those responsible for the failed coup are brought to justice, and condemns the attempted coup.

Erdogan said that Turkey’s justice minister and interior minister, accompanied by other delegates, are due to visit the US to discuss the issue.

Last month, Turkish officials shared information with US delegations in Turkey on four different files on Gulen, who is also accused of leading a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary.

During Sunday's meeting, Erdogan was accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and National Intelligence Agency Chief Hakan Fidan.

Earlier in the day, the Turkish president also met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Russian President Vladimir Putin talks with Turkey's President Erdogan as they pose for a group picture during the G20 Summit in Hangzhou, China.

On Saturday night, Erdogan held his first meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin since ties between Moscow and Ankara entered a new phase following the August 9 meeting in St. Petersburg.

The 11th G20 summit, attended by the leaders of the world’s 20 most industrialised countries, is being held in the Chinese coastal city of Hangzhou in Zhejiang province from September 4-5.

TRTWorld and agencies