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Turkey's Erdogan hits out at Biden on Syria, Afghanistan

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) and US President Joe Biden at a NATO summit on June 14, 2021. (AFP)
AM:09:35:24/09/2021

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SULAIMANI — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday (September 23) that relations with the United States remain rocky, appearing to attribute some of the discord to Biden personally.

"I worked well with George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump, but I cannot say we started well with Joe Biden,” Erdogan told reporters, according to Turkish state-owned outlet Daily Sabah.

He added that he "can’t say that we have reached a good position with the US.”

Relations between the NATO allies have been troubled for several years, with the two stumbling from crisis to crisis over a range of issues, including Turkey’s decision to purchase a Russian-made missile defense systems, US support for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the imprisonment of a US pastor in Turkey, Turkish pressure on the US to arrest Fethullah Gulen, and US recognition of the Armenian genocide.

During the press conference, Erdogan said directly that "Biden is transporting weapons to YPG terrorists operating in Syria.”

The People's Defense Units (YPG) is a major component of the SDF, but is viewed by Turkey as linked with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Erdogan also warned that Turkey would not accept Afghan migrants fleeing the Taliban takeover following US withdrawal, saying that it was "unthinkable for Turkey to open doors and accept them.”

"It is the US that has to pay the price here. The US needs to take steps in this regard,” he added.

(NRT Digital Media)