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10.09.2019 16:35 News >> Turkey Cannot Bear New Influx Of Migrants: Erdogan

Turkey Cannot Bear New Influx Of Migrants: Erdogan

'We expect from US to stand with us in our efforts to fight terrorism,' says Turkish president.

Turkey cannot bear a new influx of migrants from Syria, the Turkish president reiterated in the capital Ankara on Tuesday.
"A permanent solution for migration crises would only be possible by establishing terror-free zones in Syria," said Recep Tayyip Erdogan, referring to ridding the region of the YPG/PKK, the Syrian offshoot of the terror group PKK.
As my friend [U.S. President Donald] Trump says, Daesh was defeated in Syria," he added.
Turkey has voiced fears that Assad regime attacks backed by Russia on Idlib, northwestern Syria are displacing tens of thousands and could send a new wave of migrants to Turkey.
Turkey is currently host to some 3.6 million Syrians, more than any country in the world.
Speaking at a reception during U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross' visit to Turkey, Erdogan said the YPG engages in ethnic cleansing and forces people to flee their land in Syria and is also a threat to Turkish citizens.
"We expect the U.S., in line with spirit of alliance, to stand with us in our efforts to fight terrorism and establish safe zones that migrants could return to peacefully. But delivering equipment, ammunition to the [YPG] terrorist group in Syria with up to 50,000 trucks, seriously disturbs us ... As a strategic partner it is impossible for us to accept this as a strategic partnership," he said.
Turkey has long objected to U.S. weapons and materiel support to the terrorist YPG, saying the U.S. argument that they are partners in fighting Daesh makes no sense.
On Aug. 7, Turkish and U.S. military officials agreed to set up a safe zone in northern Syria and develop a corridor to facilitate the movement of displaced Syrians who want to return home. They also agreed to establish a joint operations center.
-Trade goal with US
Turning to trade with the U.S., Erdogan said he and Trump had discussed negotiating a free trade agreement, adding that officials from both countries would start working on it soon.
"We want more U.S. companies to invest in our country. We are ready to provide all necessary support to U.S. investors," he said, adding that over 800 US companies operate in Turkey.
Direct U.S. investment to Turkey in 2002-2018 reached $12 billion, but this is not enough, Erdogan stressed.
Ross' visit to Turkey, following the presidents' phone conservations, shows the seriousness of their trade target of $100 billion, said Erdogan.
*Writing by Burak Bir -



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