By Tugcenur Yilmaz and Meltem Bulur
Turkey sees no difference between the terror group YPG/PKK and its supporters, Turkey’s foreign minister said on Thursday.
Speaking at a news conference alongside his Algerian counterpart in the capital Ankara, Mevlut Cavusoglu reiterated Turkey’s stance on fighting terrorism at all costs.
“No matter which country or force, those trying to back the terror groups YPG/PKK to us are equal to the YPG/PKK. We treat them accordingly,” Cavusoglu said.
“We won’t give an opportunity to those coming to help the YPG/PKK,” he added.
Referring to Turkey’s current Olive Branch Operation, he said over the last month it has turned into an operation against Daesh and the YPG/PKK terror groups due to their alliance to fight the Turkish army.
“We will clear the terror groups from there,” he added.
On Jan. 20, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch to clear PYD/PKK and Daesh terrorists from Afrin, northwestern Syria.
According to the Turkish General Staff, the operation aims to establish security and stability along Turkey’s borders and the region as well as to protect Syrians from terrorist oppression and cruelty.
The operation is being carried out under the framework of Turkey's rights based on international law, UN Security Council resolutions, its self-defense rights under the UN charter, and respect for Syria's territorial integrity, it said.
The military also said only terror targets are being destroyed and the "utmost care" is being taken to avoid harming civilians.
Turkey and Algeria
He also highlighted that Turkey and Algeria are seeking to improve bilateral relations in several areas, including agriculture, energy, tourism and the economy.
Algerian Foreign Minister Abdelkader Messahel, for his part, said Algeria is hoping to diversify its economy, adding, “Algeria has the potential for renewable energy, agriculture, tourism, and technology.”
Turkish President receives Algerian FM in Ankara
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan received Algerian Foreign Minister Abdelkader Messahel in the Turkish capital Ankara, presidential sources said on Thursday.
Erdogan and Messahel held a closed-door meeting at Presidential Complex which lasted about 45-minutes.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu also attended the meeting.