Turkey slams US State Department readout on Çavuşoğlu-Pompeo meeting

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Turkish Foreign Ministry PHOTO: AFP

The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday released a statement claiming that the US State Department readout on a meeting between Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during the NATO Ministerial in Washington failed to reflect the content of the meeting, Deutsche Welle Turkish service reported.

The statement by ministry spokesperson Hami Aksoy claimed that the readout not only failed to reflect the content of the meeting but also contained matters that were not even raised.

“Similar issues were encountered during past meetings. Our alliance naturally requires that such statements are prepared with greater care, while avoiding to include matters that were not raised during meetings,” the statement read.

The US State Department readout on Wednesday said Pompeo warned Çavuşoğlu “of the potentially devastating consequences of unilateral Turkish military action in the region.”

“Secretary Pompeo called for the swift resolution of cases involving unjustly detained US citizens, including Serkan Gölge, as well as our local staff from the US Mission in Turkey,” the readout said.

“The Secretary also discussed his concerns regarding Turkey’s potential acquisition of the Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile system,” the readout went on to say.

US-Turkey relations have been strained due to a series of disagreements, most notably on US cooperation in northern Syria with the Kurdish Peoples’ Protection Units (YPG), which Turkey considers a terrorist group affiliated with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Turkey prepared for an offensive against YPG following President Donald Trump’s announcement to withdraw US troops from Syria, but it was deferred after bilateral talks between the two countries.

Another major friction between the NATO allies is Turkey’s planned purchase of a Russian-made S-400 missile defense system, which the US has repeatedly warned cannot be integrated with NATO systems.

The US further threatened Turkey with sanctions including possible exclusion from the F-35 joint strike fighter project.

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