According to the Associated Press, US President Donald Trump has issued a commitment to Turkey’s president Recep Erdogan, that the US will cease arms shipments to Kurdish fighters in Syria.
The news came out in remarks by Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu says U.S. President Donald Trump has told his Turkish counterpart that the United States will no longer supply arms to Syrian Kurdish fighters.
Cavusoglu said Trump relayed his decision during a telephone conversation between the Turkish and U.S. leaders on Friday. Cavusoglu was present in Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s office during the telephone call.
Turkey considers the Kurdish Syrian fighters, known by the initials YPG, to be terrorists because of their affiliation to outlawed Kurdish rebels in Turkey. A U.S. decision to arm the fighters soured relations between the two NATO allies.
Cavusoglu said: “Mr. Trump clearly stated that he had given clear instructions and that the YPG won’t be given arms and that this nonsense should have ended a long time ago.”
Trump’s call with Erdogan comes just a few days after Erdogan returned from a high profile summit with Vladimir Putin and Iran’s President Rouhani in Sochi, Russia, where they discussed laying the groundwork for a permanent peace deal in embattled Syria.
Relations between NATO and Turkey have been on the rocks lately, after disagreement on a Turkish purchase of S-400 air defense systems from Russia and US support of the Kurds.
This move by Trump, could be intended to throw a wrench into the blossoming Russian-Turkish entente and pull Ankara back firmly into the US orbit.