Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FOCUS

Spain's Tagus river is drying up

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

'Looking for Oum Kulthum': Breaking the glass ceiling in the art world

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Alabama sent a message to women'

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

French MPs learn to meditate

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

African leaders meet in Paris ahead of G5 Sahel summit

Read more

FOCUS

USA: Voters speak out ahead of Alabama Senate race

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Facebook to pay taxes where it earns advertising revenue

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Arnie sets green example in Paris

Read more

THE DEBATE

One Planet Summit: Who's going to pay for the switch to renewable energy?

Read more

Turkey: Trump told Erdogan won't give Syria Kurds more arms

© AFP | Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Turkey weclomed what he said was a promise by US President Donald Trump that Washington will no longer arm Kurdish militia in Syria

ANKARA (AFP) - 

President Donald Trump told Ankara on Friday that the US will no longer supply arms to the Syrian Kurdish militia Washington has used against the Islamic State, Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Friday.

Trump delivered the message during what the Turkish presidency called a "productive" phone call with his counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and the White House hailed as reaffirming a "strategic partnership."

"Mr Trump said he gave a clear order and that after this, weapons would not be supplied to the YPG, essentially he said this nonsense should have been ended earlier," Mevlut Cavusoglu said during a press conference in Ankara.

The White House was less explicit about the US military's intentions towards the YPG.

But it confirmed that Trump had told Erdogan "of pending adjustments to the military support provided to our partners on the ground in Syria, now that the battle of Raqa is complete and we are progressing into a stabilization phase to ensure that ISIS cannot return."

The YPG is the Peoples' Protection Units Kurdish militia in Syria, which the US has seen as the most effective fighting force on the ground against the Islamic State extremist group.

- Threat to divide Syria -

"Naturally, we welcomed these statements," said Cavusoglu, adding: "Of course we want to see this put into practice."

In recent months, the YPG has recaptured territory from the Islamic State jihadists, including the former de facto IS capital Raqa in northern Syria.

But Turkey views the YPG and its political wing, the Democratic Union Party (PYD), as "terror" groups linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

Cavusoglu again repeated that Turkey saw the YPG as a "threat" trying to divide Syria.

The PKK -- blacklisted as a "terror" group by Turkey and its Western allies including the US -- has waged an insurgency inside Turkey since 1984.

Relations between the US and Turkey have been strained since the administration of former president Barack Obama over Washington's support for the YPG and the failure to extradite Pennsylvania-based Fethullah Gulen blamed for ordering last year's coup bid.

Gulen strongly denies the charges.

Bilateral ties are at further risk of fraying over a scheduled trial in New York of Turkish-Iranian gold trader Reza Zarrab and Mehmet Hakan Atilla, the deputy chief executive of Turkish lender Halkbank, both accused of defying US sanctions on Iran.

The trial is expected to start early next month but there are fears over possible fines against one or more Turkish banks in the event of a guilty verdict.

© 2017 AFP