Turkey President eager to hear Trump’s Mideast policies

Istanbul, Jan 22 (IANS) Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday said he was eager to hear US President Donald Trump’s Middle East policies.

“Turkey wants to see a Middle East that is respected for its territorial integrity,” Xinhua news agency quoted the President as saying.

“We never consider a shattered Middle East and it won’t be right.”

Erdogan said he was going to discuss the issues on Middle East with Trump during his first meeting, as the efforts are underway to set an appointment for a possible meeting, he noted.

The Turkish Armed Forces launched the Euphrates Shield Operation last August against both the Islamic States (IS) militant group and the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), the military wing of the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD).

Turkey regards the YPG and the PYD as terrorist organisations due to their links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Meanwhile, Russia and Turkey brokered a nationwide truce in war-torn Syria from December 30, but it does not apply to the IS and other terrorist groups.

Mediators and Syrian conflicting factions are expected to meet in Astana, Kazakhstan on Janusry 23 to seek a settlement of the crisis, which has claimed more than 300,000 lives and displaced nearly 11 million others.

The US State Department said it will not send a delegation to attend talks in Astana due to the transition of power in Washington.

It said the country will be represented by its ambassador to Kazakhstan.

–IANS

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