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Erdogan conveys Turkey's unease over U.S. support for Kurdish militants
August 23, 2017 / 2:06 PM / a month ago

Erdogan conveys Turkey's unease over U.S. support for Kurdish militants

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan meets with U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis at the Presidential Palace in Ankara, Turkey, August 23, 2017. Kayhan Ozer/Presidential Palace/Handout via REUTERS

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday told U.S. Secretary of Defence James Mattis that Turkey felt unease over U.S. support for Kurdish militant group YPG, presidential sources said.

In a statement following meetings between Mattis and Turkish officials, the sources said the two sides emphasized the importance of maintaining the territorial integrity of Syria and Iraq, as Kurdish northern Iraq gears up for an independence referendum in September.

Both Turkey and the United States have voiced concerns over the referendum, with the former’s Foreign Minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, saying earlier on Wednesday he would ask Iraqi Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani to cancel it.

Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu and Ece Toksabay; editing by John Stonestreet

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