Turkish PM key speaker at Munich Security Conference


Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım will be among the key speakers of the Munich Security Conference (MSC) next week, its chairman Wolfgang Ischinger said on Thursday.

Ischinger told a news conference in Berlin that Yıldırım's participation might give an opportunity for high-level talks between the U.S. and Turkish officials to de-escalate current tensions over Syria.

"I hope that in the margins of the conference there will be talks between Yıldırım, his delegation and the Americans, so that one would be able to counter the impression that, for the first time in decades, important NATO partners are really falling apart," he said.

"I very much hope that talks in Munich would ease tensions. We need to have good relations with Turkey," he added.

U.S. Secretary of Defense General James Mattis, U.S. National Security Advisor Herbert Raymond McMaster, and U.S. commanders will attend the conference to be held between Feb. 16 and 18 in Munich.

Tensions between Ankara and Washington have risen in recent weeks, as Turkey strongly condemned the U.S. military support for the terrorist PYD/PKK group in northwestern Syria, and launched a military operation against terrorist targets in Afrin on Jan. 20.

The PYD/PKK is the Syrian offshoot of the PKK terrorist group, which waged a terror campaign against Turkey for more than 30 years, killing nearly 40,000 people, including women and children.

The U.S. administration argues that the PYD/PKK is a partner in fight against Daesh in Syria, and continues its military support for the group, despite strong opposition by its NATO ally Turkey.

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