West offers Turkey more than Iran, Russia, says Tillerson

"We ask Turkey as a NATO ally to prioritize the common defence of its treaty allies," U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said
Thursday, 30 November 2017 06:25

Western countries can offer Turkey more benefits than Russia and Iran, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Nov. 29.

"We ask Turkey as a NATO ally to prioritize the common defence of its treaty allies," Tillerson said, days after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan met with the leaders of Russia and Iran to discuss the conflict in Syria. Turkey 'surprised' NATO earlier this year by agreeing to buy Russian missile-defence batteries incompatible with NATO systems.

"Iran and Russia cannot offer the Turkish people the economic and political benefits that membership in the Western community of nations can provide," Tillerson added.

Turkey, Russia and Iran are guarantor countries that brokered a cease-fire in Syria last December that led to the Astana talks in Kazakhstan.

Speaking at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington on Tuesday, Tillerson said the U.S. and its European allies have partnered to hold Syrian President Bashar al-Assad accountable through sanctions, and to "resolve" the Syrian war.