How will new appointment in White House affect Turkey-US relations?
Baku, Azerbaijan, March 14
By Rufiz Hafizoglu – Trend:
It is not a secret that over the past two years there has been a negative attitude in relations between Turkey and the US, one of the main reasons of which is connected with the Syrian policy of the United States. As it is known, Turkey demands from the US to end supporting PYD and YPG terrorist groups in Syria.
Ankara regards US support for PYD and YPG as a threat not only to its national security, but also to the security of the whole region, since these groups do not hide the intention to create a new “Kurdish state” in northern Syria.
Previously, it was reported that during the visit of the former US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to Turkey, the parties agreed on a joint fight against terrorism in Syria.
During Tillerson’s visit to Ankara in February 2018, the Turkish side put forward a number of demands to Washington, primarily about the immediate cessation of support for YPG terrorists. Ankara also stressed the need for Washington to perceive Turkey as its main ally in the fight against terrorism in the region, and also assist in the fight against the PKK terrorist organization. Following the meeting, the US and Turkey reached an agreement on joint fight against the PKK.
Moreover, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on March 19, 2018 that Turkey and the United States will discuss the issue of Syria’s Manbij. According to him, if the PYD terrorists leave Manbij, the armed forces of Turkey and US will ensure stability in this area.
Almost all negotiations with the Turkish side were conducted through Tillerson’s office. Meanwhile, President of the United States Donald Trump fired Rex Tillerson, and will replace him with CIA Chief Mike Pompeo.
Pompeo made his first visit as CIA Chief to Turkey, but this does not at all indicate his sympathy for the Turkish government.
After the July military coup attempt in Turkey, Pompeo accused the country’s authorities of creating a "totalitarian Islamic dictatorship”.
He is also an ardent opponent of Iran and Russia, making tough statements against Moscow and Tehran.
Undoubtedly, changes in the US foreign policy structure will affect the situation in the region, in particular in Syria.
The situation in Syria, including the issue of withdrawal of PYD and YPG terrorists from Manbij, is expected to be discussed during the visit of Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu to the US, scheduled for March 19.
Pompeo’s appointment as the US Secretary of State will not have a positive impact on the situation in the Middle East, including the military conflict in Syria. It is possible that with his appointment, the US will begin to pursue a more stringent policy in the region.
As for the future relations between Turkey and the US, it is likely that they will be overshadowed by new crises.