Friday 23 February 2018

Turkey says US 'sacrificing ties' in spat over 'impertinent' ambassador

Turkey's president Recep Tayyip Erdogan (AP)
Turkey's president Recep Tayyip Erdogan (AP)

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has lashed out at the United States, saying Washington is "sacrificing ties" by supporting its ambassador to Turkey amid a diplomatic spat.

Mr Erdogan said: "It is unacceptable for America to sacrifice a strategic partner like Turkey for an impertinent ambassador."

He also slammed Washington for providing arms to Kurdish fighters in Syria, whom Turkey considers terrorists, while blocking the sale of US-made weapons to Turkish security personnel.

He said on Thursday that Turkey would retaliate by cancelling plans to supply its police force with American guns.

Turkey arrested a Turkish national working for the American Consulate in Istanbul, leading the US to suspend issuing visas at its missions in Turkey.

Mr Erdogan also accused people associated with Barack Obama's administration of obstructing the Donald Trump administration's relations with Turkey.

AP

Press Association

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