By Hasan Oymez and Kasim Ileri
Turkish premier called for extradition of Fetullah Terrorist Organization leader and voiced concern over the U.S.’ continued support for the PKKPYD group during his meeting with American vice president at the White House.
Speaking with reporters aboard his aircraft while en route to New York following his White House meeting, Binali Yildirim termed his meeting with Mike Pence as “very productive”.
Yildirim said he urged his U.S. counterpart to end all FETO activities in the country.
FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated July 2016 coup attempt in Turkey that left 250 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured. FETO is also held accountable for being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions.
The premier said he also conveyed Turkey's concerns over U.S. arms support to the PKK/PYD terror group and said the U.S. must halt its support.
He also expressed Turkey's expectation of more support from the U.S. in combating the PKK terrorist group.
"We spoke frankly about the YPG [PKK/PYD].
"Our meeting actually went very productive. We have discussed our issues honestly and sincerely with each other. We have addressed bilateral and regional matters."
Both officials underlined the significance of "long-rooted ally relationship and strategic partnership" and expressed a desire to "open new page" in Turkey-U.S. relations through constructive dialogue.
"We have agreed on continuation of infinite bilateral dialogue and to 24-hour communication channel when instant response is needed on issues. Our phones will always be available for each other," he said.
About the recent visa row between Turkey and the U.S., Yildirim said: "We expect it to return to normal situation from now on.
“In terms of general atmosphere, I have seen the will to improve the relations with mutual trust and sincerity... We will see the progress in time and we will follow it up. I have gained a positive impression from the vice President's views."
The visa row was sparked on Oct. 8, when the U.S. Embassy announced the suspension of non-immigrant visa services to Turkish nationals. That move followed the arrest of a local employee at the U.S. Consulate in Istanbul, prompting a tit-for-tat response from Ankara.