Turkish Foreign Minister criticizes US Ambassador's meeting with opposition leader
According to ArtıGercek's, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu criticized US Ankara Ambassador Jeff Flake, who met with the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu after criticism from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Speaking to journalists at Turkey's NATO representation in Brussels after the NATO Foreign Ministers Meeting, Cavusoglu said that ambassadors could meet with anyone in the country under normal circumstances but that in an election atmosphere, the appearance of taking a political side was unacceptable. He also said that he had conveyed his views on the matter to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
"We condemn the raid on Al-Aqsa Mosque"
In his statement to the press, Cavusoglu also touched upon the latest developments in the world and the region. He condemned Israel's raid on Al-Aqsa Mosque yesterday, saying "It is impossible to accept this, we strongly condemn it." Referring to Turkey's dialogue process with Israel, he stated, "Our engagement with Israel cannot be at the expense of the Palestinian cause. We cannot compromise our principles and beliefs on this matter."
When asked about Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry's upcoming visit to Turkey, Cavusoglu said, "I invited him to Turkey. We have agreed in principle to meet, especially during the Ramadan month. We will be pleased to host Sameh Shoukry in our country."
"We are waiting for an invitation from Russia."
Regarding the question of whether there will be a ministerial-level meeting following the meeting on Syria at the deputy foreign minister level between Turkey, Russia, Syria, and Iran in Moscow, he said, "A meeting was held at the deputy foreign minister level to prepare for the foreign ministers meeting. Our Deputy Foreign Minister Burak Akcapar attended the meeting. They emphasized that consultations should continue. Ultimately, the purpose of this meeting was to prepare for the foreign ministers meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and we are now waiting for an invitation from Russia for the ministerial-level meeting in the coming period."
The Minister of Foreign Affairs emphasized that during the visit of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to Turkey on April 6-7, they will discuss the accumulated bilateral issues. "As you know, for the grain agreement, Russia said 60 days this time and stated that their expectations must be met for it to be extended to 120 days. We are not defending Russia here, but problems still persist in grain and fertilizer exports. We discussed how we can solve these issues with the UN in New York with Antonio Guterres. Now we are working on it. Turkey will have a key role here again. Especially, the problems are related to payments, insurance, and services that ships can receive from ports. Especially, the United States and the United Kingdom are key countries in terms of insurance, banking, and payments, and we discussed these issues in bilateral meetings with both US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly," he said.
"Sweden needs to take concrete steps"
Answering the question about Sweden's NATO membership, Cavusoglu said that Sweden's steps in implementing the triple memorandum and fighting against terrorism were inadequate. "Sweden needs to take concrete steps in the fight against terrorism. The Swedish Foreign Minister said once again yesterday that investigations into the individuals we want extradited are ongoing. On the other hand, PKK/PYD/YPG's activities continue in Sweden. We have an agreement on legal assistance, but we want to see concrete steps regarding the extradition of these terrorists," he said.