Turkey's Erdogan Puts Syria, Iraq on G20 Leaders' Agenda

Turkey's Erdogan Puts Syria, Iraq on G20 Leaders' Agenda

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Turkey wants world leaders to discuss the conflicts in Syria and Iraq at a G20 summit this weekend and is ready to take "stronger steps" in the region following its general election, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday.

Leaders of the Group of 20 major economies (G20), including the United States, China, Japan, Russia, Canada, Australia and Brazil, are to meet on Sunday and Monday in the Mediterranean resort of Antalya to discuss global economic issues.

But Turkey, a NATO member which has taken in more than 2 million refugees from Syria and Iraq and faces a growing threat of spillover from the conflicts, wants the heads of state to also discuss the unrest there.

"Our inclusion of issues of Iraq and Syria to the G20 agenda is not against the primary objectives of the platform," Erdogan told a business meeting in the capital Ankara.

The ruling AK Party, founded by Erdogan, regained the parliamentary majority it had lost just five months earlier in an election a week and a half ago. He said that meant Turkey could now act with more authority in the region.

"The result of the Nov. 1 election completely removed political uncertainty in Turkey and gave us the opportunity to take stronger steps on regional issues," Erdogan said, without elaborating.

Turkey has been a staunch supporter of terrorist groups fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Tuesday that Turkey would respond by air and land to threats from Syria and that a new strategy was needed.

Turkey, sees advances by the Syrian Kurds as a threat to its national security, fearing they could stoke separatism among its own Kurds.

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