Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Tuesday ripped national security advisor John Bolton’s comments on Kurdish forces in Syria, calling the remarks a “serious mistake.”
Erdoğan also declined to meet with Bolton in Ankara, as had been expected.
“We cannot accept Bolton’s messages given from Israel,” Erdoğan said, CNBC reported.
Bolton said Sunday that U.S. forces would not leave Syria until the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is fully defeated and the Trump administration receives assurances that U.S.-backed Kurdish fighters would be protected.
U.S. support for the Kurds in Syria has been a point of tension in U.S.-Turkey relations, as the Turkey views the fighters as a terrorist group.
Bolton met with officials at Ankara’s presidential complex on Monday, but Turkey declined to assure him that the Syrian Kurds would remain safe, The Associated Press reported.
“We cannot make any concessions,” Erdoğan said, according to the AP.
Turkey has been threatening a military offensive against the Kurds in Syria for months.
Bolton and Erdoğan were set to meet over the weekend, but the Turkish president reportedly declined due to Bolton’s stated defense of the Kurds.
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