World Bulletin / News Desk
Portugal stands with Turkey in its fight against terrorism, a Portuguese official said Monday.
The remarks of the chairman of the National Defense Committee of Portuguese parliament, Marco Antonio Costa came as he presented his Turkish counterpart Yusuf Beyazit with an official declaration condemning New Year’s Eve nightclub attack in Istanbul.
During the attack, 39 were killed and 69 injured when Abdulgadir Masharipov armed with an assault rifle stormed the venue beside the Bosphorus just over an hour into the New Year.
Costa did not share the exact date the declaration was accepted by the Portuguese parliament.
Beyazit for his turn recalled that Turkey and the Turkish people also received a strong message of solidarity from Portugal after the failed July 15 coup attempt last year.
Noting that Turkey maintained its fight simultaneously against around ten terrorist groups, Beyazit thanked Lisbon for standing by Ankara in its counterterrorism efforts and for not discriminating against any particular group or groups.
According to Turkey, Ankara does not receive enough support from its traditional western allies in its fight against terrorist groups such as PKK and PYD, which is the Syrian affiliate of PKK.
PKK is designated as a terrorist organization by Turkey, EU and the U.S. However, PKK's network and the free existence as well as propaganda of its supporters across EU and U.S. creates a tension between Ankara and its allies.
The U.S. on the other hand continues to support the PYD in Syria.
"We don't understand the fact that they are talking about fighting against terrorism, yet arming [terrorists]," Beyazit said, referring to the U.S.' arming its "reliable partner" PYD in northern Syria as part of counter-Daesh efforts.
"In that regard, we're aware of Portugal's sincere thoughts and position," he added.
Beyazit also praised Portugal's support for Turkey's EU accession process, adding Turkey wanted to strengthen bilateral relations with Portugal as well as increase the amount of mutual high-level visits in the future.