Erdoğan warns against NATO-Russia confrontation, expanded conflicts - Reportgist

Erdoğan warns against NATO-Russia confrontation, expanded conflicts

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President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Thursday voiced concerns over a conflict between NATO and Russia as the military alliance ramped up support for Ukraine in statements he made to Newsweek.>>>CONTINUE FULL READING HERE

Erdoğan, who was attending a NATO summit in the United States, also warned against Israel’s threat to spread its conflict, adding that this attempt runs the risk of driving the region to a larger war.

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“The prospect of a direct confrontation between NATO and Russia is undoubtedly concerning,” and “any steps that could lead to this outcome must be deliberately avoided,” Erdoğan said in written statements to Newsweek’s questions. Under Erdoğan, Türkiye pursues a balanced policy toward the Russia-Ukraine conflict. The president is among few leaders in the international community maintaining good ties with the two sides while NATO overwhelmingly backs Ukraine through arms supplies in particular. Türkiye itself sold drones to Ukraine but also hosted talks to mediate between Russia and Ukraine, as well as ensuring uninterrupted shipment of grain, one of the repercussions of the conflict for the wider world and the region.

On Wednesday, NATO announced the transfer of F-16 jets to Ukraine and more support to Kyiv for its much-anticipated membership to the military bloc. Russia was irked by the move, and Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday that NATO’s military infrastructure was progressively moving toward the Russian border. The official also said the alliance’s leaders openly declared “the suppression of Russia and inflicting a strategic defeat on Russia” as one of their main goals. Peskov described NATO as “a powerful alliance of states pursuing policies hostile to Russia.”

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Erdoğan reiterated his earlier comments on the Russia-Ukraine conflict

and said they would not be a party to the conflict. “The solution is not more bloodshed and suffering, but rather a lasting peace achieved through dialogue,” Erdoğan said. “The attitude of some of our Western allies toward Russia has only fueled the fire. This has resulted in more harm than good for Ukraine. In contrast, we have engaged in dialogue with both warring parties to bring them closer to peace.”

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“We approach issues with sincerity and rational road maps rather than with codes from hidden agendas and emotional reflexes,” Erdoğan said. “We are moving forward by calling out what is right and what is wrong. It is impossible to proceed with such sensitive processes while acting like a bull in a china shop. We do not develop a policy that is ensnared in prejudices; rather, we approach problems from a perspective that emphasizes reasonableness and solutions,” he added. “Naturally, we do not agree with Mr. Putin on everything, However, we can discuss matters amongst ourselves and delve into the specifics of how to resolve them.”

Türkiye’s overture to BRICS and Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) gave way to criticism of Ankara by some members of the international community, claiming a shift in Türkiye’s diplomatic axis. Erdoğan dismissed the criticism in his statements on Thursday.Erdoğan said that the goal was not to establish an “alternative” to NATO, but engagement with BRICS

or SCO was critical for averting a larger battle among superpowers. “No explanation is needed as to the ultimate destination of a world in which all nations are confined to their own borders, where sharp poles are established,” Erdoğan is quoted. “These bitter experiences are evident to those who study the two world wars in history.” “In this respect, we are in a unique position. We preserve and strengthen our position as a reliable partner in all structures in which we are involved,” he added. “That is why, as a NATO member, we do not consider it a problem to interact with countries in the SCO, BRICS, the European Union, or the Organization of Turkic States (OTS). We even believe that these relationships contribute to world peace.”

On Israel, Erdoğan stated that Israel’s threats against the countries of the region, particularly Lebanon, and its attempts to spread the conflict across the region “must stop.” “Otherwise, our region faces a greater risk of deeper conflicts and even war,” he said.

The Turkish leader also hit out at his current host for its stance on the Palestine-Israel conflict. “We believe that the brutal murder of innocent people by Israel in hospitals where they go for treatment, in ambulances, in marketplaces, in centers where humanitarian aid is distributed and in areas defined as safe is the gravest violation of human rights. The U.S. administration, however, disregards these violations and provides Israel with the most support,” he said. “They do so at the expense of being complicit in these violations.”

The president, however, added that they were committed to overcoming obstacles in relations with the current U.S. administration, referring to the “deep-rooted” nature of relations that “alternates between periods of tranquility and periods of turbulence.”

He said Türkiye’s main goal was to strengthen solidarity with NATO allies while highlighting that terrorism was standing out as one of the most critical global challenges. “We are a country fighting terrorist groups and our expectation from allies is the same approach. Unfortunately, we have not received adequate support from them so far,” he said. “Accepting heads of terrorist groups threatening Türkiye’s national security as legitimate actors contradicts the spirit of the alliance,” Erdoğan said. “Support for the PKK/YPG and Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) by the U.S. and some other allies do not comply with NATO’s principles that emphasize that a threat to one of the members is a threat to all other members,” he said. The U.S. openly supports PKK’s Syria wing YPG despite Ankara’s protests and, similarly, hosts FETÖ leader Fetullah Gülen and other top figures of the terrorist group, which was behind a 2016 coup attempt in Türkiye.

On possible normalization of ties with Syria, Erdoğan stated that Türkiye desired a prosperous future for its neighbor, “governed by Syrians itself” while highlighting the need to clear Syria out of terrorism, in reference to Türkiye’s counterterrorism efforts in Syria against the YPG, the Syria wing of the PKK. Both Erdoğan and the Assad regime recently signaled moving forward with normalizing relations severed after the eruption of unrest in 2011 in Türkiye’s southern neighbor.

“We are striving for a climate of peace in Syria. The solution to all these conflicts is a new social unison in Syria based on territorial integrity. It is our fundamental desire that Syria should not be a land where regional and global powers arm wrestle, but a prosperous state completely free of terrorism and ruled by Syrians,” he said.

Erdoğan also answered a question about the influx of Syrian refugees into Türkiye and how Daesh and “Kurdish insurgents” in Iraq and Syria made unrest in Iraq and Syria a domestic issue as well. “In Iraq and Syria, there are terrorists, not ‘Kurdish rebels,’ with DAESH. They do not represent any ethnic or religious group. Both terrorist organizations directly represent terrorism and its heinous aims. We have no problem with the Kurdish population, neither in Syria nor in Iraq. We have a problem with terrorists, and we are close to solving it by neutralizing terrorists. For those who think that they can create a terrorist state in our region, this is an utter dream and will never come true. When the day comes, our Syrian guests will voluntarily return to their countries, having left the war behind. We will intensify our struggle for this cause,” he said.>>>CONTINUE FULL READING HERE

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