Erdogan, Mattis Stress the Importance of Preserving the Territorial Integrity of Iraq and Syria

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August 23rd, 2017 – Fort Russ News –

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– Al Mayadeen – – translated by Samer Hussein –         

US Defense Secretary James Mattis has held talks with the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

During the talks on Wednesday, Erdogan told the US Defense Secretary that Turkey is concerned about the US support for the Syrian Kurdish separatist group People’s Protection Units (YPG).

Both officials, however, stressed the importance of preserving the territorial integrity of Syria and Iraq, while also expressing their skepticism over Iraqi Kurdistan independence referendum, scheduled to take place on September 24th.

The Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said he would pressure the Iraqi Kurdistan leader Massoud Barzani not to hold the referendum.

The Iraqi foreign minister also warned that Iraq will not allow an independent Kurdish state to be created on its soil.

On Tuesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reiterated his country’s position of not tolerating the establishment of a Kurdish state, either in Iraq, Iran, Syria or Turkey.

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