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Pompeo: Turkey should side with U.S., not Iran

Friday, 02 November, 2018, 11:45
Pompeo: Turkey should side with U.S., not Iran

Turkey should forgo its partnership with Iran and look to foster closer relations with the United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told American radio host Tony Katz on Thursday.

Turkey and Iran shared a desire for “regional hegemony,” Katz said, describing Turkey’s outlook under President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as “Eastern-looking.”

The past year has seen observers intensely scrutinise the Erdoğan administration’s foreign policy, as anti-Western rhetoric from the Turkish leader, the purchase of Russian S-400 missile defence systems, and heightened cooperation with Moscow and Tehran have raised questions on Turkey’s future in NATO.

The radio host put one of these to Pompeo, asking the secretary of state whether there could “come a moment where Turkey’s future as a NATO nation and as an ally comes into question?”

“I hope not,” Pompeo replied. “It would be unfortunate for NATO; it’d be unfortunate for the United States, and I think even more unfortunate for the people of Turkey if that were to become the case.”