Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Sunday he is eager to hear U.S. President Donald Trump’s Middle East policies.

“Turkey wants to see a Middle East that is respected for its territorial integrity,” Turkish president was quoted by Turkish press as saying to reporters in Istanbul Ataturk Airport before departing for Tanzania. “We never consider a shattered Middle East and it won’t be right.”

Erdogan said he is 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 most powerful country in the Middle East is Turkey,” he added.

The Turkish Armed Forces launched the Euphrates Shield Operation last August against both the Islamic States (IS) 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 organizations due to their links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

In the meantime, Russia and Turkey brokered a nationwide truce in war-torn Syria from Dec. 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 Jan. 23 to seek a settlement of the crisis, which has claimed more than 300,000 lives and displaced nearly 11 million others.

The U.S. State Department said on Jan. 21 that it will not send a delegation to attend talks on Syria in Astana due to the transition of power in Washington, adding the country will be represented by its ambassador to Kazakhstan, according to Turkish Hurriyet.

Moscow considered it appropriate to invite representatives of the new U.S. administration under Donald Trump to the upcoming intra-Syria talks in Kazakhstan’s Astana, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Tuesday at his annual press conference. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

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