Ankara, Jan 8 (AP) US National Security Adviser John Bolton is set to depart Turkey without meeting with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in an apparent snub over disagreements about Kurdish fighters in Syria.

A US official had said over the weekend that the two were expected to have consultations on Tuesday about the fate of Kurds allied with the United States in Syria as part of discussions about President Donald Trump’s troop draw-down from the country.

National Security Council spokesman Garrett Marquis said U.S. officials were told Erdogan cited local election season and a speech to parliament for not meeting with Bolton.

In the speech to parliament Tuesday, Erdogan criticized the U.S. position that the Kurds must be protected, reiterating his government’s position that they are a terrorist group.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Turkey’s preparations for a new military offensive against terror groups in Syria are “to a large extent” complete.

Erdogan made the comments on Tuesday, just hours after U.S. national security adviser John Bolton met with Turkish officials seeking assurances that Turkey won’t attack U.S-allied Kurdish militia in Syria.

Erdogan says that Ankara “cannot make any concessions. Those involved in a terror corridor (in Syria) will receive the necessary punishment.” In his speech, Erdogan also slammed Bolton over comments suggesting the United States would prevent attacks on Kurds.

Turkish insists its military actions are aimed at Kurdish fighters in Syria whom it regards as terrorists and not against the Kurdish people. (AP) AMS AMS

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.