Davos: Turkey chides US' 'inconsistent' policy on Syria
American policy on Syria is inconsistent as it supports one terrorist group in order to defeat another, Turkey's deputy prime minister said at the World Economic Forum's (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland on Wednesday.
"Sometimes we are also finding it very hard to understand what our friends up to. There is a form of communication but there is also what they do on the ground. There are inconsistencies," Mehmet Simsek told a session on "Finding a New Equilibrium in the Middle East".
About the U.S. policy to support the terrorist PYD/PKK -- the Syrian offshoot of the PKK, which has been designated a terrorist group by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU -- Simsek said: "What puzzles us is that U.S. has opted to choose a terrorist organization to fight another vicious barbaric terrorist organization, which is Daesh."
"This is not the right strategy," he added.
Calling the U.S. policy a "dialogue of death," he added: "We would like to see more moves towards recognition of these concerns."
The PKK has killed some 40,000 people in three decades of terrorist attacks on Turkey.
Acknowledging the threat posed by Daesh, Simsek recalled the Turkish-led Operation Euphrates Shield in Syria, which ended last March: "That is why Turkey moved in and cleansed 2,000 square meters of Daesh."
About Syria's territorial integrity amid Turkey's current Operation Olive Branch, Simsek said Turkey had "no interest in a single inch of Syrian territory".
As for the Turkish troops currently in Qatar -- amid the row between Qatar and other Arab states -- Simsek said they were there mostly for peacekeeping, not against any other countries in the region.
Also speaking at the session, Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed Al Jubeir listed the issues facing the Middle East as "sectarianism, extremism, inefficient government, unaccountable government, governments that are not transparent, and looking backwards not forwards.
"I think the solution to that is making governments more accountable, more transparent," he added.
Germany Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen also warned of possible sectarian conflicts after the defeat of Daesh.
U.S. President Donald Trump is set to attend Davos on Thursday and Friday.
Recent racist remarks by Trump have drawn worldwide condemnation, exacerbating his international unpopularity.
More than 1,000 people gathered in the Swiss capital Bern on Saturday to protest Trump's attendance with banners saying "Kill Trump With His Own Weapons!".
Several other demonstrations by anti-Trump protesters are planned in Switzerland in the next few days.
Over 3,000 participants from more than 110 countries and more than 340 public figures, including more than 70 heads of state and government and 45 heads of international organizations, are attending the forum, for which security is expected to cost nearly $10 million.
Also in Davos are 10 heads of state from Africa, nine from the Middle East and North Africa, and six from Latin America, plus 40 Western leaders including French President Emmanuel Macron, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and British Prime Minister Theresa May.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres with the heads of UN agencies and the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund are also attending.
The Israeli-Palestinian issue will also be addressed, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah both set to attend.