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Turkey dismisses Macron's Syria criticism, says he sponsors terrorism

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By Reuters
Turkey dismisses Macron's Syria criticism, says he sponsors terrorism
French President Emmanuel Macron talks to Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan as they attend a news conference after a Syria summit, in Istanbul, Turkey October 27, 2018. Arif Hudaverdi Yaman/Pool via REUTERS   -   Copyright  POOL(Reuters)

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Thursday dismissed French President Emmanuel Macron’s critique of Turkey’s offensive in Syria against the Kurdish YPG militia, saying the French leader sponsors terrorism.

“He is already the sponsor of the terrorist organisation and constantly hosts them at the Elysee. If he says his ally is the terrorist organisation…there is really nothing more to say,” Cavusoglu told reporters in parliament.

Ankara considers the YPG a terrorist organisation and launched its offensive in northeast Syria on Oct. 9.

Last month, Macron met with Jihane Ahmed, the spokeswoman for the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), of which the YPG is a big part, to express France’s solidarity with them in their fight against Islamic State in Syria.

Earlier on Thursday, Macron said that Turkey cannot expect solidarity from NATO allies at the same time that it launched its Syria offensive as a “fait accompli.”

Cavusoglu added: “Macron cannot be the leader of Europe by wobbling like this. Right now, there is a void in Europe, he is trying to be its leader.”

(Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu and Ali Kucukgocmen; Editing by Jonathan Spicer)