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Turkish PM objects to Biden's criticism over ISIL

The Turkish prime minister has denounced claims made by the U.S. vice-president Joe Biden that Turkey had permitted the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu objected to a speech made by U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden on Thursday, in which he accused America's key allies in the Middle East, including Turkey, of having allowed the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL.

"It is impossible to accept his criticism. All the U.S. authorities and Biden very well know that Turkey, on its own, has hosted millions of refugees for four years. If all the warnings that Turkey made had been taken into consideration, [ISIL] would not be an issue today," Davutoglu said on Saturday.

"Our allies in the region were our largest problem in Syria," had said Biden in a speech at Harvard University, claiming that certain Middle Eastern countries had provided "hundreds of millions of dollars and tens of thousand tons of weapons" indiscriminately to anyone who would fight against Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, thus instigating a Sunni-Shiite conflict.

Speaking to reporters following the morning prayer for Eid al-Adha – the festival of sacrifice observed by Muslims all over the world – at Fatih Mosque, in Istanbul, Davutoglu stressed that, for its humanitarian efforts, Turkey will not be held responsible for what happens in the region – which will not be the case for other the countries, he claims.

The Turkish prime minister also said that the tomb of Suleyman Shah, a sovereign Turkish territory in Syria, was safe.

Turkish soldiers have been alert for potential attacks as there have been concerns that ISIL was getting close to the tomb.

"Soldiers are today wishing each other a happy Eid. We are, as a whole nation, together with them, and we will always proudly appreciate their efforts, patience, and determination."

Suleyman Shah was the grandfather of Osman I, the founder of the Ottoman Empire, and his tomb is a Turkish exclave in Syria, 30 kilometers south of the border.

Asia & AmericasEurope & RussiaIraqMiddle EastNewsTurkeyUS
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