Yıldırım seeks cooperation against PKK, FETÖ on Asia tour

DAILY SABAH WITH AA
ISTANBUL
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Parliament Speaker Binali Yıldırım will seek to increase cooperation in the fight against terrorism, particularly against the PKK and the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ), and strengthen diplomatic ties during his visits to China, Kyrgyzstan and Iran, which began on Sunday and will end on Dec. 8.

Yıldırım said Turkey has been carrying out a serious fight against terrorist groups, such as the PKK for many years, and it is currently fighting against terrorist groups such as the People's Protection Units (YPG), the radical leftist group Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C), Daesh and FETÖ.

"We think that regional cooperation, mutual understanding in the fight against terrorism and eliminating differences on terror standards are crucial for success," Yıldırım told reporters at Esenboğa Airport in the capital Ankara on Sunday before leaving.

Yıldırım left for a trip to China on Sunday, the first stop on a multi-country tour, where he first met with Li Zhanshu, the chairman of China's Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, in the capital Beijing.

During his meeting with Li Zhanshu on Monday, Yıldırım said that not only relations between the governments, but also between the parliaments of the two countries need to be developed for more effective parliamentary diplomacy. Emphasizing the historic relations between the two countries, Yıldırım said that Turkey and China share "similar ideas on regional and global issues."

Li, for his part, said Turkey plays an important role in international and regional issues. "Turkey is an important and developing country and an emerging economy," he added.

He also said that China supports Turkey's efforts "to preserve its own national security, stability and legitimate right."

In the press conference in Ankara ahead of his visit to Beijing, Yıldırım also said that the "Belt and Road Initiative" also plays a significant role in strengthening of the bilateral ties. Following China, he will meet with Kyrgyz Parliament Speaker Dastanbek Jumabekov in Kyrgyzstan's capital Bishkek. Yıldırım is expected to discuss cooperation against FETÖ activities in the country, where he said no substantial measures were taken against the group, following the July 15, 2016 coup attempt by FETÖ. During the failed coup, 251 people were killed, nearly 2,200 people were injured.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had paid an official visit to Kyrgyzstan in September, where he had bilateral meetings with his Kyrgyz counterpart Sooronbay Jeenbekov.

"I see today's visit of President Jeenbekov as the best answer to FETÖ's efforts," Erdoğan had said at the time. "I believe that Jeenbekov will be much more vigorous against FETÖ and take the necessary measures promptly."

Lastly, on Dec. 7-8 in Iran's capital Tehran, Yıldırım will take part in a multilateral conference on the "Development of Regional Cooperation in Combating Terrorism and Development of Regional Cooperation." Turkey and Iran have recently been increasing cooperation on border security and have signaled will to increase cooperation against the PKK.

Yıldırım said the conference, where counterterrorism and regional cooperation issues will be discussed, will be held with the participation of the parliament speakers of Pakistan, Afghanistan, Russia and China.

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