Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu slams US for support to terrorist organisations in Syria, and for failing to extradite Fetullah Gulen, who masterminded the 2016 failed coup in Turkey.

Mevlut Cavusoglu was speaking during the 24th ministerial meeting of the Economic Cooperation Organization in Turkey's Mediterranean resort city of Antalya, on November 9, 2019.
Mevlut Cavusoglu was speaking during the 24th ministerial meeting of the Economic Cooperation Organization in Turkey's Mediterranean resort city of Antalya, on November 9, 2019. (Cem Özdel / AA)

PKK/YPG terrorists in Syria are involved in oil smuggling from the fields they still occupy in the region, Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Saturday, adding, Turkey is also keeping an eye on the United States which has made it clear it's interested in Syria's resources.  

"We're closely following the statements coming from the US. And they're openly saying they are there for the oil resources. We're talking about a country that doesn't hide the fact they are there for the oil resources," he said during the 24th ministerial meeting of Economic Cooperation Organization [ECO] in Turkey's Mediterranean resort city of Antalya. 

"Moreover, with the revenues they [US] obtain from oil, we see they support terrorist organisations such as the YPG/PKK," he said.

Cavusoglu said Daesh in the past and now the YPG/PKK are smuggling oil. 

"No one else has any right to the natural resources of Syria. Turkey started Operation Peace Spring in Syria to clear out terrorist groups, not for seizing its natural resources as others do," he said.

Cavusoglu also slammed the US for not extraditing chief of FETO, Fetullah Gulen, who masterminded the defeated coup in Turkey on July 15, 2016. 

TRT World's Hasan Abdullah has more.

ECO meeting

Cavusoglu delivered his statements while chairing the ECO meeting.

Turkey will develop a new initiative in Asia during its presidency, and increase the dynamism in Asia by working in many areas such as education, trade, technology, culture, cultural and political dialogue, Cavusoglu said at the opening speech of the meeting that will conclude on Sunday.

Stressing that the trade volume in the ECO region is around $100 billion, Cavusoglu said it is necessary for Turkey to be willing to achieve more goals.

On the sidelines of the meeting, Cavusoglu met with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

Cavusoglu also held talks with Kudret Ozersay, deputy prime minister and foreign minister of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, and "evaluated cooperation" between the two countries, Cavusoglu said on Twitter.

The Council of Ministers is the highest policy and decision-making body of ECO and meets in regular, informal or extraordinary sessions.

Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan hold ECO membership.

Established as Regional Cooperation for Development in 1964 by Iran, Pakistan, and Turkey, the organisation was renamed as ECO in 1985, according to its website.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies