Turkish President Snubs Bolton over Comments That Turkey Must Protect Kurds

Turkish President Snubs Bolton over Comments That Turkey Must Protect Kurds

President Trump’s muddled plan to withdraw the United States from Syria fell into further disarray on Tuesday after Turkey’s leader rebuffed Mr. Trump’s emissary, John R. Bolton, and angrily dismissed his demand that Turkey agree to protect America’s Kurdish allies.

 

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Mr. Bolton had made a “grave mistake” in setting that condition for the pullout of troops. “It is not possible for us to swallow the message Bolton gave from Israel,” Mr. Erdogan said in Parliament, after refusing to meet with Mr. Bolton, the president’s national security adviser, during his visit to Turkey.

 

The failure of Mr. Bolton’s mission, which was intended to reassure allies that Mr. Trump would pull out of Syria in an orderly fashion, raised new questions about whether the United States would be able to come to terms with Turkey, a NATO partner, about how to withdraw 2,000 American troops who fought alongside the Kurds against the Islamic State.

 

It was the latest, most vivid example of what has become a recurring motif in Mr. Trump’s idiosyncratic, leader-to-leader foreign policy: a senior American official humiliated by a foreign head of state who evidently calculated that he could extract a better deal by talking directly to Mr. Trump.

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