Turkey, together with Russia, China, Iran, Bolivia and Mexico have thrown their weight behind Maduro with President Erdoğan and Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavüşoğlu saying the country is opposed to military intervention and coups. Hardly surprising, as the country has had several similar experiences itself, the most recent took place in 2016. There is also “significant discomfort” over the decision by the US to end sanctions waivers for countries like Turkey that buy Iranian oil.
All this and other issues would appear to be ramping up tensions between Turkey and the US, but Ankara is nevertheless insisting that Presidents Erdoğan and Trump are continuing to communicate in “a positive atmosphere” and Trump may visit Turkey this summer.
Published on HDN, May 3, 2019
“Turkey is opposed to military intervention and coups. Problems can be solved through dialogue and cooperation,” Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu told a joint news conference with his Paraguayan counterpart Luis Alberto Castiglioni in Turkey‘s capital Ankara.
Also touching on the phone call between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump on April 29, he said they discussed a range of issues in a positive atmosphere.
On Turkish-U.S. relations, Çavuşoğlu said: “We don’t agree on everything yet, but I can say that we have made progress and gained ground.”
Venezuela has been rocked by protests since Jan. 10, when President Nicolas Maduro was sworn in for a second term following a vote boycotted by the opposition.
Tensions escalated when Juan Guaido, who heads Venezuela‘s National Assembly, declared himself acting president, a move supported by the U.S. and many European and Latin American countries.
Russia, Turkey, China, Iran, Bolivia and Mexico have thrown their weight behind Maduro.
On April 30, Guaido posted a video on social media calling for an uprising to end the “usurpation” of Maduro.
Iran, Sudan, Libya
Speaking on the U.S. ending sanctions waivers for countries that buy Iranian oil, Çavuşoğlu stressed that from Japan to European countries, there is “significant discomfort” over the decision.
“America should review these decisions,” he added.
The U.S. announced last month that it would be ending sanctions waivers it had granted to countries – including Turkey – still buying Iranian oil.
It reimposed the sanctions last November after unilaterally withdrawing from the Iranian nuclear deal.
Çavuşoğlu also said that he hopes Sudan’s administration will start working soon to fulfill public demands.
The country has been in political turmoil since the army announced Omar al-Bashir’s ouster on April 11 following months of popular protest against his continued rule.
A Military Transitional Council (MTC) is now overseeing a two-year “transitional period” during which it has pledged to hold free presidential elections.
Thousands of demonstrators, however, have remained in the streets of capital Khartoum to demand that the MTC hand over power – at the earliest possible date – to a civilian authority.
Speaking on Libya’s current conflict, Çavuşoğlu said that Turkey sees that some countries giving direct support and even weapons to Khalifa Haftar, who commands forces loyal to Libya’s eastern government.
“Those who supports a military solution instead of a political solution should not forget that Libya would again be dragged into a long-term civil war,” he said.
In early April, Haftar launched a campaign to capture Tripoli from Libya’s UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA).
Libya has remained beset by turmoil since long-serving leader Muammar Gaddafi was ousted and killed in a bloody NATO-backed uprising in 2011.
Since then, the country has seen the emergence of two rival seats of power: one in eastern Libya, to which Haftar is affiliated, and the other, the GNA, in Tripoli.
For his part, Castiglioni said that Paraguay is an important platform in Latin America for Turkey, adding his visit will pave the way for future visits to make progress in legal, economic, and trade ties.
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