WORLD

Turkish minister urges Kosovo to remove ‘FETO barrier’

Turkey's visiting defense minister called on Kosovo on Thursday to remove the barrier created by FETO, a terror group behind the 2016 defeated coup in Turkey, between the two countries.

Hulusi Akar's remarks came following his meeting with Kosovar counterpart Rrustem Berisha as part of his official visit to to the capital Pristina.

FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, which left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.

Ankara also accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary.

The two officials co-chaired a meeting between delegations after a one-on-one meeting.

Addressing a joint news conference, Akar underlined the strong ties between Turkey and Kosovo.

"Let us quickly remove the FETO barrier between us. We must get rid of this immediately," said Akar.

In 2018, Turkish intelligence officers, in cooperation with Kosovar intelligence, brought six alleged senior FETO members back to Turkey following operations against the terror group's branch in the Balkans.

- BILATERAL RELATIONS
He also expressed wish for boosting the cooperation between the two countries.

The cooperation in the military, political and defense industries should continue increasingly, Akar stressed.

Berisha, for his part, said Turkey always has stood by Kosovo.

Kosovar defense chief also said he hopes the cooperation between the two countries improves.

Akar arrived in Pristina from Skopje, the capital of North Macedonia following meetings with top officials.

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