Turkey's President Erdogan says that he is open to mediating talks between Washington and Tehran to deescalate tensions and find a common ground to solve the problems.

President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R) answers the questions of press members following his program in Beijing, China on July 02, 2019.
President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R) answers the questions of press members following his program in Beijing, China on July 02, 2019. (AA)

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday said that he's willing to accept an offer to mediate talks between Iran and the US to ease rising tension in the Middle East.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's attempts failed to find a common ground in de-escalating tensions between the US and Iran.

Speaking to reporters on his way back to Turkey, President Erdogan stressed that none of the leaders were enthusiastic on discussing how to solve the Iran-US crisis.

"Abe asked me whether we can act together on this issue. I said 'Why not. I can talk to both of them, [Supreme Leader Ali] Khamenei and [President Hassan] Rouhani," said Erdogan.

"After this, we agreed to discuss the steps that we are going to take."

Under Donald Trump's leadership, Washington announced to increase pressure on Iran. Countries, entities and companies that do business with Tehran will also be slapped by US sanctions.

Trump withdrew the US from the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action), an agreement on the Iranian nuclear programme that aimed to curb Tehran's uranium enrichment policy in return for lifting all of its nuclear-related economic and financial sanctions.

Erdogan stressed that Japan is also not in support of US sanctions on Iran and that problems need to be solved with "new perspectives and brave leadership".

Chinese officials are also against US embargoes, he said while underlying that sanctions are counter-productive for peace and stability in the region.

Libya's Haftar "nothing but a pirate"

Erdogan dismissed Libyan warlord Khalifa Haftar as "nothing but a pirate".

Turkey supports the internationally recognised national unity government in Tripoli, which Haftar has been trying to overthrow from his base in the east of the country. 

Six Turkish sailors were briefly detained by Haftar's militia this week after he blamed Turkey for his loss of a key town. 

"Haftar is nothing but a pirate,” Erdogan told reporters in comments published in several local newspapers. 

"We hope that in a short while an opportunity for Libya to hold elections emerges and the people take the chance to represent their rights democratically," he added. 

Erdogan confirmed in June that Turkey was provided weapons to the UN-backed Tripoli government, saying it was necessary to "rebalance" the fight against Haftar, who has the backing of Turkey’s rivals, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.

Deal with PKK/YPG is unacceptable

President Erdogan also on Tuesday strongly condemned the UN's "scandalous" signing of "an action plan" with the PKK/YPG terror group.

Erdogan said that no matter what the circumstances are, the UN can't take a terrorist organisation and sign a deal as if it's an official counterpart.

"I believe that UN Secretary-General [Antonio] Guterres has not been informed, I think he would never make such a mistake."

Turkey's Foreign Ministry also slammed the plan.

“UN Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict Virginia Gamba’s meeting with PKK terrorist "Ferhat Abdi Şahin", who commands the so-called "Syrian Democratic Forces" dominated by the PKK/PYD/YPG terrorist organisation, to sign an "Action Plan" at the UN Office in Geneva without the knowledge of the members is a grave incident which we strongly condemn,” the ministry said in a statement.

“There can be no explanation for the UN, which should be at the forefront in the fight against terrorism, to strike a deal with a terrorist organisation. This act also constitutes a clear breach by the UN of its own resolutions on terrorism,” the statement added.

Turkey has also underlined that it is "utterly unacceptable" that "the UN has taken a terrorist organisation with blood on its hands as an interlocutor to address this problem," while also affirming that the terror group commits crimes against humanity and international law. 

Source: TRT World