Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Turkish leader skips meeting with Trump aide over Syria remarks - AP and Israel Hayom Staff

by AP and Israel Hayom Staff

In Israel on Sunday, National Security Adviser John Bolton told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that U.S. withdrawal from Syria was contingent upon total defeat of ISIS and an assurance that U.S.-allied Kurdish fighters, whom Turkey sees as terrorists, remain safe.

National Security Adviser John Bolton attends a meeting with 
U.S. President Donald Trump and senior military leadership in Iraq
Photo: AP 

U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton is set to depart Turkey without meeting with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, in an apparent snub over disagreements about Kurdish fighters in Syria.

A U.S. official had said over the weekend that the two were expected to have consultations on Tuesday about the fate of Kurds allied with the United States in Syria as part of discussions about U.S. President Donald Trump's troop draw-down from the country.

Bolton visited Israel on Sunday and met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Bolton told Netanyahu that U.S. military withdrawal from northeastern Syria is conditioned on defeating the remnants of the Islamic State group, and Turkey assuring the safety of Kurdish fighters allied with the United States.

National Security Council spokesman Garrett Marquis said U.S. officials were told Erdoğan cited local election season and a speech to parliament for not meeting with Bolton.

In the speech to parliament Tuesday, Erdoğan criticized the U.S. position that the Kurds must be protected, reiterating his government's position that the Syrian Kurdish Peoples Protection Units, or YPG, is a terrorist group.

While in Israel, Bolton had been scheduled to tour the Golan Heights but the visit was canceled due to inclement weather. Israel is pressing the U.S. administration to recognize Israeli sovereignty on the Golan Heights.

"When you're there, you'll be able to understand perfectly why we'll never leave the Golan Heights and why it's important that all countries recognize Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights," Netanyahu told the U.S. envoy.

Bolton did not respond directly to Netanyahu's remarks.

AP and Israel Hayom Staff

Source: http://www.israelhayom.com/2019/01/08/turkish-leader-skips-meeting-with-trump-aide-over-syria-remarks/

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