After Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu expressed discomfort over the US statement on the massacre of Turkish citizens by the PKK, his American counterpart Antony Blinken affirmed US view that the terror group bears responsibility.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken have discussed all aspects of bilateral relations.
The two discussed a range of issues including the Fetullah Terrorist Organisation, FETO, the group behind the defeated coup of 2016, the YPG/PKK terror group, Turkey’s purchase of the Russian S-400 missile system, Syria, and the eastern Mediterranean.
They agreed to discuss in detail all issues on the agenda in the coming days.
During the meeting, they agreed to develop an "open and sincere" dialogue between Turkey and the US’ new Biden administration based on mutual respect, it added.
The Turkish side also expressed “discomfort” over the US statement on the massacre of 13 Turkish citizens by the PKK terror group.
DEVELOPMENT: US State Department says “PKK terrorists bear responsibility” after US ambassador is summoned to the Turkish foreign ministry.— Hasan Abdullah (@journalisthasan) February 15, 2021
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken talks to Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu over the phone. pic.twitter.com/NP5X4wDIsF
'PKK terrorists bear responsibility'
The bodies of 13 Turkish civilians were found over the weekend during Turkey’s anti-terror operation in northern Iraq, massacred by the terror group.
The US statement on Sunday said: “If reports of the death of Turkish civilians at the hands of the PKK, a designated terrorist organization, are confirmed, we condemn this action in the strongest possible terms.”
During his call with his Turkish counterpart, Blinken "expressed condolences for the deaths of Turkish hostages in northern Iraq and affirmed our view that PKK terrorists bear responsibility," the State Department said.
"Secretary Blinken emphasized the longstanding importance of the US-Turkish bilateral relationship, our shared interest in countering terrorism, and the importance of democratic institutions, inclusive governance, and respect for human rights," spokesman Ned Price said in a statement.
"Both sides pledged to strengthen cooperation and support for a political resolution to the conflict in Syria," added Price.
'Countries combat terrorism silent on PKK massacre'
Earlier on Monday, Turkish foreign minister said that countries that profess to fight terrorism either are silent or attempting to whitewash a recent massacre by PKK, referring to international reactions to the terror group's massacre of 13 Turks in Iraq's Gara region.
Cavusoglu said "countries that claim to be combatting terrorism are either silent on this massacre by the PKK or are trying to smooth over it with 'ifs' and 'buts.'"
Speaking at the opening of a new building for the Ethiopian Embassy in the capital Ankara, Cavusoglu vowed to avenge the Turks who were massacred by the terror group.
Turkey will continue undeterred in its fight against terrorist organisations both in the country and abroad, Cavusoglu said in his speech alongside his Ethiopian counterpart Demeke Mekonnen.
He also said the country would continue to support Ethiopia and other African countries in their fight against terrorism as well.
'Double standards and hypocrisy'
Cavusoglu underlined that as a country that has been fighting terrorism for many years, Turkey understands the struggle of African countries against terrorism.
"Unlike many western countries, we never applied double standards and never acted as hypocrites," said Turkey's top diplomat.
Cavusoglu's comments came as funeral services were held for the 13 Turkish citizens massacred in northern Iraq's Gara region.
Turkey announced on Sunday that the 13 people, who included security personnel, were killed by the PKK terrorists and their bodies were found during Turkey's anti-terror operation in northern Iraq.
Turkish forces launched Operation Claw-Eagle 2 on February 10 to prevent the PKK and other terror groups from re-establishing positions used to carry out cross-border terror attacks on Turkey.
Operations Claw-Tiger and Claw-Eagle were initiated last June to ensure the safety of Turks, and Turkey's borders.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK, listed as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the US, and EU, has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including children.