04:04 GMT +324 February 2019
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    Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan gestures as he talks during the closing news conference following the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation's Extraordinary Summit in Istanbul, Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017

    Erdogan: If Cyprus Holds Ops in Mediterranean, Region to Face Security Threat

    © AP Photo / Emrah Gurel
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    Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said that the eastern Mediterranean region will face a sustained security threat if Cyprus continues unilateral operations.

    Turkey and Cyprus's internationally recognised Greek Cypriot government have been locked in a public dispute over overlapping claims of authority for offshore oil and gas research in the region.

    Turkey rejects what it says is a "unilateral" search for resources by the Cypriot government, saying that it neglects the rights of the seceded Turkish Cypriots to the island's natural resources.

    READ MORE: Cyprus Not Planning to Participate in Military Operations in Syria

    Erdogan said that the United States had lost its role as a mediator in the Middle East by moving its Israel embassy to Jerusalem.

    "The United States has chosen to be a part of the problem rather than the solution with its latest step and has lost its mediating role in the peace process," Erdogan stressed.

    Erdogan Slams US, Israel for Destabilizing Situation in Syria

    Israeli strikes on Iranian facilities in Syria and military assistance from the US to Kurdish formations in this country threaten peace in the Middle East, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said.

    "Israel has already inflicted more than 50 missile strikes on Syria, provoking a new war in the region…. It is impossible to give a positive assessment of such steps. What is the purpose of these missile strikes? We cannot confirm the fact of strikes from the Syrian territory towards Israel, which was the pretext for missile strikes against Syria," Erdogan said during his visit to the UK.

    "The United States has sent 5,000 trucks with weapons to Syria. Two thousand transport aircraft with weapons landed in Syria. Why so many weapons? The US has started an arms race in the region…. Of course, the actions of the US disappoints Turkey, we consider dangerous any steps that threaten peace in the region. Therefore, Washington's approach to the situation in the region are unacceptable," the Turkish leader said.

    He stressed that the joint steps taken by Turkey, Russia and Iran contribute to peace in Syria, while Ankara was not able to take similar steps with the West countries.

    Relations between Turkey and the US are in crisis because of the support provided by the United States to the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), whom Ankara considers a terrorist group associated with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which is listed as a terrorist organization in Turkey. Washington explains its actions by combating the Daesh* terrorist group.

    *Daesh (also known as ISIS/ISIL/IS) is a terrorist group banned in Russia


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    Daesh, United States, Turkey, Cyprus, Syria
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