Erdogan says France abetting terrorists

ANKARA – Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday accused France of abetting terrorists by “hosting them” at the Elysee Palace, amid a diplomatic row between the NATO allies over Paris’s support for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

Relations between Ankara and Paris have been tense in recent weeks, with France one of the most vocal critics of Turkey’s two-month-old military operation in northern Syria against the Kurdish YPG, which Turkey considers a terrorist organisation.

That came to a head on March 30 after President Emmanuel Macron met a Syrian delegation including the YPG and its political arm, the PYD, and gave assurances of French support to help stabilise northern Syria against Islamic State.

Turkey said the pledge amounted to support for terrorism and could make France a “target of Turkey”.

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