Turkish FM reacts to Belgian counterpart in joint press conference
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu reacted on Thursday to concerns expressed by his Belgian counterpart over Turkey's military operations in Northern Syria and Iraq, state news agency AA reported.
Speaking at a joint conference after his meeting with Belgian Foreign Minister Hadja Lahbib in Turkish capital Ankara, Cavusoglu said:
"You are making a solidarity statement with Turkey, but against our counter-terror efforts."
Claiming that Turkey "never targets civilians or civilian infrastructure" in "anti-terror operations" across the border, Cavusoglu said they target only terrorists.
"I wish Iraq could have carried out efforts to eliminate PKK terrorists, as it did with the Islamic State, and wipe out these (terrorists) from its country," he continued, adding:
"We expect you to take measures and fight against PKK organizations that are currently very active in Belgium and carry out terrorist activities throughout Europe."
He claimed that terrorist organizations are "using Belgium as their headquarters," and said that this should be prevented.
Cavusoglu also reacted to Lahbib's "warnings about the coming elections in Turkey," AA said.
Stating that he finds these warnings "strange," Cavusoglu said: "Elections in Turkey are always democratic and transparent."