Turkish Embassy staff reach Port Sudan amid clashes

Turkish Embassy personnel in Khartoum reached Port Sudan on Thursday amid fighting in the North African nation, said the Turkish foreign minister. Speaking to Turkish news broadcaster AHaber, Mevlut Cavusoglu said: 'There are violent clashes in the neighborhood and the street where our embassy is located, we have decided to temporarily move our embassy to Port Sudan (from Khartoum), our colleagues arrived in Port Sudan today.' He said an embassy vehicle was targeted on May 6 while preparing for relocation and a Turkish plane was also targeted previously. 'Actually, we don't take sides here, both sides have respect (for Trkiye), but it's as if some other power is trying to pull us into this. There are Westerners here, there are also regional countries that take sides.' Cavusoglu said that the embassy staff were stuck and left without water and food, adding that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called Sudan's army chief Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan. An hour after their phone call, the embassy staff were relocated. Four-way meeting on Syria Evaluating the four-way meeting on Syria, Cavusoglu said that the meeting at heads of state level could be possible after the road map is formed and the ground is prepared. Noting that in order to continue the process within the framework of a road map, it was decided at the meeting on Wednesday to establish a working group at the level of deputy ministers of foreign affairs, with the participation of the Ministries of National Defense and Intelligence. Meetings at these levels have been held before. Stating that Syria's territorial integrity was among the prominent issues, Cavusoglu reiterated that Trkiye is not eyeing Syria's territory, but is only there to prevent the formation of a terror corridor. He added that Turkish forces have cleared Daesh/ISIS and PKK terror groups from the region. Noting that they discussed establishing permanent stability in Syria by reviving the political process, Cavusoglu emphasized the importance of delivering humanitarian aid to Syria, especially after the earthquakes. The return of Syrian refugees to Syria in a safe and dignified way was also discussed at the meeting along with establishment of necessary infrastructure in the country, he added. Western media and Turkish elections Responding to a question on The Economist's cover saying 'Erdogan must go,' Cavusoglu said: 'The cause of their greatest discomfort is in the last 10 days. They do surveys all the time. Erdogan will win. Therefore, how can we block Erdogan's way, this is their main problem. The vote of our president is increasing day by day. They panicked when they saw the campaign rallies in Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir, when they saw the other rallies, and when they overlapped with the polls.' Regarding opposition presidential candidate Kemal Kilicdaroglu's latest comments on being pro-Western and supporting sanctions against Russia, Cavusoglu said that being in the Western alliance does not necessarily mean being a party to a war, adding that imposing sanctions on Russia is not beneficial for Trkiye in the areas of tourism, trade and energy.

Source: Anadolu Agency