The Turkish Foreign Ministry dismissed U.S. National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster’s remarks portraying Turkey, along with Qatar, as new sponsors of radical ideology, as “baseless and unacceptable.”
“The allegations made by Mr. McMaster, who is best placed to judge Turkey’s ceaseless combat against terrorism and radicalism in all its forms and manifestations, are astonishing, baseless and unacceptable,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.
Speaking at an event hosted by U.K.-based Policy Exchange in Washington, D.C., Mr. McMaster, the director of National Security Council, offered a close-up snapshot of the next National Security Strategy ahead of its release next week.
During his address outlining major geopolitical and military challenges that the U.S. needs to wrestle with, he also took on the enduring threat of the radical ideology that remained elusive despite efforts by generations of U.S. diplomats and its security apparatus.
“Radical Islamist ideology is obviously a grave threat to all civilized people,” he noted in his speech decorated with a lecture over the return of geopolitics with vengeance.
“It is now done more by Qatar, and by Turkey,” the general said after noting that Saudi Arabia was the main sponsor of spreading the radical ideology in the past.
As expectedly, his remarks sparked a furious response from Turkey.
“We expect the United States, which we continue to recognize as our friend and ally, to display the same stance to our country, to cease all forms of cooperation with terrorist groups such as YPG and provide more concrete and effective support in our ongoing determined fight against terrorism and radicalism in line with our traditional ties of alliance and international legitimacy,” the ministry said in the statement.