U.S. President Donald Trump warned on Monday that former Vice President and current Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is shot and would not be able to stand up to the world-class chess players, singling out Turkish president among the world leaders.
Lets face it, Joes shot, Trump said during an interview on Fox & Friends.
Youre dealing with people that are very sharp. Youre dealing with world-class chess players in the leaders of these countries. I know them all. We do very well with all of them, (President Recep Tayyip) Erdoan of Turkey. You cant have a guy that doesnt know where he is. You cant have a guy thats afraid to leave his basement because he cant speak any longer, the president said.
And by the way, at his best he wasnt that good, he added.
Biden has come to the fore with his recent controversial remarks on Turkey.
In a video clip that went viral, Biden said he would seek a regime change in Turkey and expressed his willingness to work with opposition leadership in the country to topple Erdoan in Turkeys 2023 elections.
We can support those elements of the Turkish leadership that still exist and get more from them and embolden them to be able to take on and defeat Erdoan. Not by a coup, not by a coup, but by the electoral process, he said.
Lastly, Turkeys Foreign Minister Mevlt avuolu on Sunday slammed Bidens remarks. Only the Turkish nation, not someone from the U.S. or another country, can decide to change its government and president, avuolu said in a statement.
We strongly reject such impositions, avuolu told Anadolu Agency (AA) following his meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in the Dominican Republic, adding that Biden's remarks are ignorant and fail to recognize the Turkish nation.
He also said it was strange that a person who has been nominated to lead the U.S. made such ignorant comments on Turkey, and that he doesnt know the truth about his own country.
Turkeys presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kaln said: The analysis of Turkey by Joe Biden was based on pure ignorance, arrogance and hypocrisy.
Trump also said world leaders have sought his help with Erdoan because he claimed the Turkish leader will only listen to him.
The heads of countries last week they called me up, could you call Erdoan? he noted, quoting world leaders whom he did not name.
Trump said he asked the undisclosed leaders why he should be the one to speak to the Turkish president, to which Trump said they responded, Youre the only one hell listen to. He doesn't listen to us. Youre the only one.
I said, Is that because of the United States? He says no, thats because of you. Thats because of your personality. Youre the only one that hell listen to, Trump said. I dont like saying this publicly, but it happens to be true. I get along with him and he listens.
It is unclear which leader or leaders Trump was referring to during the telephone interview, but the call came amid heightened tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean involving several U.S. allies, including Turkey, Greece, France, and Egypt.
The White House said Sunday Trump spoke with French President Emmanuel Macron and said the leaders agreed that Greece and Turkey must commit to dialogue, which is the only path to resolving their differences.
Tensions have been mounting in the region after Athens controversial new maritime pact with Egypt. Greek defense sources announced joint military drills Thursday in the Eastern Mediterranean along with France, which has sought to hem in Turkeys maritime territory.
The drills follow Turkey's resumption of energy exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean on Aug. 10, just after the signing of the Greek-Egyptian maritime pact, which Turkey called illegal. Ankara had temporarily paused the exploration by the MTA Oru Reis seismic research vessel to allow for diplomatic talks, to no avail.
Turkey has consistently contested the Greek Cypriot administration's unilateral drilling in the Eastern Mediterranean, asserting that the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) also has rights to the natural resources in the area.
Turkish drilling procedures in the Eastern Mediterranean fall under two categories: the licensed areas issued by the TRNC to Turkey and the licensed areas that are issued by Turkey to the Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) Turkeys national oil company.
The exercise, which includes two French Rafale fighter jets, was conducted off the Greek island of Crete after France announced Wednesday it would beef up military presence in the region.
On Saturday, it was announced that a 2017 defense cooperation agreement between the Greek Cypriot administration and France had entered into force Aug. 1.
Fuat Oktay, Turkeys vice president, slammed the joint exercises and underlying pact, saying they were unacceptable under any circumstances.
It is essential for France not to seek adventure in Cyprus-related matters, and act much more responsibly, he said.
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