UPDATE – Terror swamp in E. Euphrates threat for Syria: Erdogan

CHANGES HEADLINE; UPDATES WITH MORE QUOTES FROM TURKISH PRESIDENT

By Merve Aydogan

ANKARA (AA) – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday said a "terror swamp" east of the Euphrates river remains the "biggest problem" for Syria's future.

"Currently the biggest problem for the future of Syria is the terror swamp, expanding under the auspices of some of our allies, east of the Euphrates," Erdogan said in a news conference ahead of his visit to New York for the UN General Assembly.

Underscoring that no country has been more affected by the Syrian civil war than Turkey, he said he would draw attention to the humanitarian crises in his speech at the General Assembly on Sept. 25.

Erdogan is to hold a bilateral meeting with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres as well as with other heads of states during his visit to New York.

Recalling his meeting with representatives of U.S. companies in Turkey last week, Erdogan also said he is to hold similar ones in New York.

Regarding a possible meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump, Erdogan said it was currently not on the table but that he would consider it if it was requested by Washington.

Erdogan also conveyed his condolences to the people and government of Iran following the armed attack in southwestern Iran, which killed at least 25 people and injured more than 60 others.

"With such incidents, the sensitivities in the region grow," Erdogan added.

Following his New York visit, Erdogan is to pay an official visit to Germany on Sept. 27-29 upon invitation from his counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

Erdogan said he is also to meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

“I will also receive the senior representatives of German companies that are investing in Turkey. The final day of my visit will be in Cologne, where I will visit the Central Mosque and attend the official opening ceremony,” he added.

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