Turkish FM on US relations: We’ll either fix them, or they’ll break completely

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(First row R-L) Uganda's Foreign Minister Henry Oryem Okello, Foreign Minister of Gabon Raymond Placide Ndong Meye, Sudanese Foreign Minister Ibrahim Gandour, Foreign Affairs Minister of Guinea, Mamadi Toure, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Rwanda Olivier Nduhungirehe, Turkish Foreign Affairs Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Deputy Chairman of the African Union Commission Thomas Kwesi Quartey, Chadian Foreign Minister Mahamat Zene Cherif, Foreign minister of Libya Mohamed Taher Siala, Ethiopia's Foreign Minister Aklilu Hailemichael Asgedom, Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Somalia Abdulkadir Ahmed-Kheir Abdi, (rear row L-R) Madagascar Bilateral Relations Director, Togolese Ambassador Sebade Toba, Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister of Algeria Noureddine Ayadi, Deputy-Assistant Foreign Minister of Egypt Khalid Ibrahim Emara, Ambassador of the Republic of Djibouti to Ankara Aden Houssein Abdillahi, Ambassador of Tanzania to Ankara Elizabeth Kiondo, Ambassador of Cote d'Ivoire Louis Leon Boguy Bony and Pule Isaac Malefane, Ambassador of the Republic of South Africa to Ankara pose for a family photo within the Turkey-Africa 2nd Ministerial Review Conference in Istanbul, Turkey on February 12, 2018. Serhat Cagdas / Anadolu Agency

Ahead of a visit by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to Ankara, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu on Monday warned Washington that Turkish relations with the US are close to breaking, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

“Ties with the US are at a very critical point. We will either fix these relations, or they will break completely,” Çavuşoğlu told reporters on the sidelines of a Turkish-African meeting in Istanbul.

“We want concrete steps [from the US]. The missing trust needs to be restored. The reason for that missing trust is the US,” he said, criticizing the US for supporting the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) in Syria.

The Turkish military and Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighters on Jan. 20 launched Operation Olive Branch in the Afrin region of Syria against the PYD, which Turkey sees as the Syrian extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

The Evrensel daily reported that 32 Turkish military members have been lost since the beginning of the operation.

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