Friday 24 January 2020

US seeks clarity on Erdogan threat to close air force base

 

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Photo: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AP
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Photo: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AP

Idrees Ali

US Defence Secretary Mark Esper said he needs to speak with his Turkish counterpart to understand how serious President Tayyip Erdogan was when he said he could shut down the Incirlik air base, which hosts US nuclear warheads.

Erdogan's warning came in response to threats of US sanctions and a separate US Senate resolution that recognised mass killings of Armenians a century ago as genocide.

Mr Esper said that if Turkey was serious about closing down the Kurecik base, it would be discussed by Nato.

"They have that inherent right to house or to not house Nato bases," added Mr Esper.

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