‘US sanctions hurting its own reputation’
ANKARA (AA): US sanctions on Turkey are shattering the reputation of the US, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Tuesday.
Speaking at a joint news conference with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov at the 10th Ambassadors’ Conference in capital Ankara, Cavusoglu said: “The era of bullying must end.
“If the US wants to continue being a reputable country, it cannot do so with these impositions,” he said, referring to the sanctions.
“We are against the US or any country imposing sanctions.”
Cavusoglu said there were two reasons why Europe was also worried about the sanctions on Turkey. “Firstly, for a stable and strong economy, Turkey is important for Europe and all its neighbors. Secondly, Turkey may be one of EU or European countries tomorrow. All leaders at the NATO summit have seen this,” he said. For his part, Lavrov said the US’ “unlawful and illegitimate” sanctions policy cannot last for long.
“We highly appreciate the rejection of our partners to join the anti-Russian sanctions,” Lavrov added referring to Ankara’s stance against newly-imposed sanctions on Russia.
– Sanctions on Russia
Cavusoglu said: “We have also made it clear that we do not agree with the EU sanctions on Russia. We have also said that we do not agree with the sanctions on Iran.”
Lavrov backed the use of national currencies in mutual trade. “I am sure that the abuse of the role of the US dollar as the world reserve currency would lead to the weakening of its role, and many countries, even those not touched by sanctions, will stay away from the US dollar and rely on more reliable partners for using their currencies,” he said.
About US National Security Adviser John Bolton’s meeting with Turkey’s ambassador to the US Serdar Kilic at the White House on Monday, Cavusoglu said the ambassador “gave a very clear message” to the US. “Our ambassador has clearly given this message: ‘Pressure, threats and sanctions in relations with Turkey would only bring chaos. The US can develop its relations with Turkey with dialogue by leaving aside the language of sanctions and threat’,” Cavusoglu said. He also said the US Embassy’s charge d’affaires will visit the jailed American cleric, Andrew Craig Brunson, in Turkey.
The Turkish foreign minister said he will discuss what could be done or which precautions could be taken in Syria’s Idlib with Lavrov.
“It is clear what we should do in Idlib. Yes, we have 12 observation points there,” he added. He said there are armed terrorist groups in Idlib, which are a threat, particularly to civilians and opposition groups. Bombarding all of Idlib just because there are some terrorists there is tantamount to a “massacre”, Cavusoglu said.
“The aim of these observation points are to determine when there are conflicts or violations, or a party disrupting a cease-fire, and, as guarantors, taking measures toward these.
“Since the moderate opposition and the people are very disturbed by these terrorists, we have to fight against them altogether, we have to succeed. It is crucial for us, for the security of our countries, for the future of Syria,” he added.
Lavrov said the situation in Idlib is more complicated than other zones from the very beginning, mostly because of the dominance of the Nusra Front there.
“By placing Turkish observation points there the situation is calming down,” Lavrov said. He added, “The Syrian army is on their own land, it fights for its independence against the terrorists, and we [Russia] act in accordance with the international law by supporting the Syrian army in it.” Lavrov also said the commodity turnover between Turkey and Russia was steadily growing. “We are successfully realizing big projects such as the Turk Stream and Akkuyu nuclear power plant’s construction with the help of Russian specialists,” he said.