Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Erdogan Disapproves Persian Expansionism | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
Select Page
Media ID: 55376780

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. AP photo

Ankara- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that Iran was taking each of Iraq and Syria as an arena for more than a sectarian expansionism, describing its behavior as a “Persian expansionism.”

In an interview with the Portuguese broadcaster RTP late Thursday, Erdogan said: “I see that denominational expansionism as Persian expansionism. I do not find this right.”

The Turkish president also asked: “Is Syria a scene for the Iranian sectarian expansionism? Yes, it is. Is Iraq also a scene? Yes, it is.”

Erdogan said that his country was working with each of Russia and Iran during the Astana talks and that the US and Saudi Arabia were also called to join to help bring peace in Syria.

“You cannot solve issues in Syria and in Iraq without Iran,” he said, adding that keeping Tehran away from the efforts to find a solution in Syria, would not serve any party.

However, Erdogan again lashed out at the US for its insistence to rely on Kurdish militias in its operation to liberate the Syrian town of Raqqa from ISIS.

The president said the US continues to work with those Kurdish militias despite the Turkish warnings, which Erdogan had expressed to his US counterpart Donald Trump during his visit to Washington last May.

“I understand from their joint movement that the US does not consider those (Kurdish groups) as part of its list of terrorist organizations. Today, the US is advancing towards Raqqa in cooperation with those terrorist organizations,” he said.

Lately, Washington said for the first time that the US was disturbed by the growing relations between Ankara and Moscow.

In a speech addressed to the Senate, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson stressed the importance of building relations between each of the US, Europe and NATO with Turkey.

Tillerson said ties between Turkey and Russia were probably due to the US weak presence in the region, adding that Ankara-Moscow relations would not last long.