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Turkey to US: 'You can't be in the same sack as terrorists'

Nurettin Canikli, Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister on July 22, 2016 [Wikipedia]
Turkish National Defence Minister Nurettin Canikli [Wikipedia]

Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister, Nurettin Canikli, criticised President Donald Trump's decision to supply arms to Kurdish YPG fighters saying "you can't be in the same sack as terrorist organisations".

Canikli's comments were amongst the first official responses following the US announcement yesterday that Trump had approved supplying arms to the YPG to support an operation to retake the Syrian city of Raqqa from Daesh.

Turkey hopes the United States will end its policy of supporting the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia. Ankara views the YPG as the Syrian extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which is considered a terrorist group by the United States, Turkey and Europe. The United States, however, sees the YPG as a valuable partner in the fight against Daesh in northern Syria.

Read: Mattis: US will 'work it out' with Turkey over Syria

"We cannot accept the presence of terrorist organisations that would threaten the future of the Turkish state," Canikli said in an interview with Turkish broadcaster A Haber, Reuters reported.

We hope the US administration will put a stop to this wrong and turn back from it. Such a policy will not be beneficial, you can't be in the same sack as terrorist organisations.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is expected to meet Trump in Washington next week. Erdogan has repeatedly castigated the United States for its support for the YPG, saying its NATO ally should support it fully in the fight against terrorism.

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