* Photograph: Fatih Aktaş / Ankara / AA
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Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has made a speech at the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (TBMM) Committee on Foreign Affairs regarding the "Latest Developments in the Foreign Policy."
President and Justice and Development Party (AKP) Chair Recep Tayyip Erdoğan did not meet with US National Security Adviser John Bolton in the capital city of Ankara yesterday on the ground that "Bolton's counterpart is (Presidential Spokesperson) İbrahim Kalın."
Bolton said that "the US would not withdraw its troops from Syria without protecting the Kurds" in Israel on January 6.
Çavuşoğlu said today (January 9) that the delegations discussed the coordination of the US forces' withdrawal from Syria.
Saying, "We see that the US has some difficulties in withdrawal", the Minister has stated the following:
"After being so intimate, so engaged with a terrorist organization, leaving that terrorist organization is not so easy. We also see that there are countries who make efforts to dissuade the US from this decision.
"There are different voices in the US. We are trying to consolidate all of those voices. We are evaluating these subjects at length with our counterparts.
"We have already said that we strongly reject the US' excuses like 'Do not kill the Kurds.'"
Making remarks on the tensions between Ukraine and Russia as well, Çavuşoğlu has said, "We have disagreements with Russia but these are not an obstacle to the strategic steps we take together. President Erdoğan will visit Russia soon."
In a ceremony held on January 5, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople signed the tomos of autocephaly, a document which grants independence to the Ukrainian church.
President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko also attended the ceremony which took place in the Fener Greek Patriarchate in İstanbul.
After the ceremony, Poroshenko held a closed-door meeting with Erdoğan. The meeting lead to comments that tensions between Ankara and Moscow could rise. (PT/VK)