U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Saturday night rejected accusations by Turkey that the United States was responsible for the failed coup in the country.
Those accusations were made earlier by Turkey's Labor and Social Security Minister Suleyman Soylu, in an interview on Turkish television.
State Department spokesman John Kirby said Kerry spoke with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and “reiterated U.S. support for the democratically elected government in Turkey, for the rule of law and for the need for authorities to take all necessary precautions to safeguard civilian life and property as they respond to this attempted coup.”
Kerry, said the spokesman, “made clear that the United States would be willing to provide assistance to Turkish authorities conducting this investigation, but that public insinuations or claims about any role by the United States in the failed coup attempt are utterly false and harmful to our bilateral relations.”
“Secretary Kerry also urged restraint by the Turkish government and respect for due process -- and its international obligations -- as it investigates and uncovers additional information about those involved,” said Kirby.
“Finally, both ministers discussed Turkey's importance as both a NATO ally and a key member of the coalition to defeat Da'esh (the Arabic acronym for the Islamic State jihadist group -ed.), and stressed the need to stay focused on ensuring operational support to those efforts continue unabated,” he concluded.