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Iran Press TV

Turkish foreign minister says Trump's Turkey policy self-defeating

Iran Press TV

Tue Aug 21, 2018 03:04PM

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has described US President Donald Trump's recent sanctions policy targeting Ankara as "self-defeating."

In a Monday article for USA Today, Cavusoglu wrote that the US attempts to undermine Turkish economy had hurt the NATO alliance.

"Aiming to undermine an ally's economy to score domestic political points is deeply misguided. Alienating an ally with which your country shares vital national interests is self-defeating," Cavusoglu said

The article outlined that the tensions between Ankara and Washington have to resolved through diplomacy, not tariffs. According to Cavusoglu, the tariffs sanctioned by the US on Turkey will not just harm Turkey, but also harm the US and Europe.

"The economic sanctions Mr. Trump's administration is imposing on Turkey, however, are poised to disrupt any atmosphere of cooperation – all while global threats demand that we strengthen, not weaken, the ties that bind us together."

The top Turkish diplomat used the warning by the US Chamber of Commerce, which told Trump that his actions "harm the US economy and undermine American global leadership."

"This reckless escalation needs to stop," said Cavusoglu.

The Turkish FM noted that both countries agree on a wide range of issues although they may have different views on significant ones. "For everyone's sake, we should address our disagreements with diplomacy, rather than threats and provocation, and with a commitment to facts and perspective."

He also highlighted the strategic importance of its Incirlik airbase being used by US-led coalition forces purportedly fighting Daesh terrorists in neighboring Syria.

"Over the past two years, we have arrested hundreds of suspected ISIS [Daesh] members, helping to prevent the group's spread to Western capitals. In the face of this threat, Turkey has been the tip of the spear," Cavusoglu added.

Elsewhere in his article, Cavusoglu strongly denounced Trump's decision to double US tariffs on a number of Turkish products, while imposing sanctions on two Turkish ministers over the arrest of American pastor Andrew Brunson.

Turkey is not a "rogue regime that can be shaken down on a whim," Cavusoglu said.

The article comes as ties between Ankara and Washington are in an unprecedented crisis over the continued detention of Brunson.

Turkey and the US are currently experiencing rocky relations following Washington's imposition of sanctions on two government ministers for not releasing Brunson, who faces terrorism-related charges in Turkey.

On August 10, Trump ramped up his attack on Turkey by doubling US tariffs on Turkish aluminum and steel imports. Last Wednesday, in retaliation, Turkey increased tariffs on several US goods, including alcohol and tobacco products as well as cars.

The dispute between Washington and Ankara that reached new intensity over the detention of the pastor in Turkey has hammered the lira and also raised questions over the future partnership between the two NATO allies.

Writing in The New York Times, Erdogan earlier said, "Washington must give up the misguided notion that our relationship can be asymmetrical and come to terms with the fact that Turkey has alternatives."

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