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Turkey's Erdogan says European countries enabled terror threat to spread

March 30, 2016

Story highlights

  • “We were left alone by Western countries,” says Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
  • He tells CNN’s Christiane Amanpour of his frustration with European countries

In an exclusive interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour in Washington, he criticized those countries for allowing ISIS to spread. The full interview will air at 2 p.m. ET Thursday on CNNI.
Erdogan accused many European countries of having not met their obligations, especially considering so many jihadists come from Europe.
He said the authorities in Belgium showed “similar negligence” in their handling of Ibrahim El Bakraoui.
The president’s office has previously said that Turkish authorities captured and sent the would-be Brussels bomber to the Netherlands last year, and flagged him to Belgian authorities soon afterward.
“We have been calling the nations for a common stance against terrorism, and many of the European member states seem to have failed to attach the significance that this call for action deserves,” Erdogan said. “We were left alone by Western countries. Our intelligence-sharing expectations were never met.”
He stressed Turkey’s enduring commitment to fight ISIS.
“We are committed to this goal and we expect the same determination from Western countries as well,” he said.

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