Ankara focuses on US funding for Kurdish militia as Tillerson visits Turkey
Ahead of US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's visit to Ankara on Thursday and Friday, Anadolou Press Agency claimed in a tweet that "the US lost Turkey's trust by supporting and strengthening the PYD/PKK and FETO terrorist groups that threaten Turkey’s security and well-being."
Tillerson and Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Wes Mitchell, will be joined in Turkey by US Ambassador to Greece Geoffrey Pyatt and several of his regional counterparts for consultations on a range of topics, including the energy agenda.
Contrary to press reports, the US ambassador to Greece will not be meeting with Turkish Foreign Affairs Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu. Pyatt’s trip to the Turkish capital was planned last week before the escalation of tension between Greece and Turkey, according to US officials.
Turkey has launched a military air and ground operation into the Afrin region in northwest Syria, targeting the Kurdish YPG militia despite objections in Washington.
Turkey is angry about US support for the YPG, which Ankara sees as a terrorist organisation. Washington has backed the YPG in the fight against Islamic State in Syria.
“Our ally’s decision to give financial support to the YPG … will surely affect the decisions we will take,” Erdogan said in a speech to members of his AK Party in parliament this week.