Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that Donald Trump’s recent letter to him broke with “diplomatic and political courtesy.”
The letter “was not in line with diplomatic and political courtesy. We will not forget this lack of respect. This is not a priority for us. But when the time comes we would like it to be known that we will take the necessary steps.”
The extraordinary missive warned the Turkish leader not to be a “fool” over Turkish plans to start a military campaign in northern Syria.
It emerged on Thursday that Mr Erdogan reacted angrily to the 9 October letter, throwing it in the bin and commencing the military offensive, which has left dozens of civilians dead and displaced hundreds of thousands.
“Don’t be a tough guy, don’t be a fool!”, the letter, leaked from the White House, said.
Turkey agreed on Thursday to a temporary ceasefire, but fighting has continued, according to Kurdish forces in northern Syria.
Turkish troops and Turkish-backed Syrian fighters launched their offensive against Kurdish militias in Syria a week ago. That came two days after Trump suddenly announced he was withdrawing American troops from the border area. The Kurdish-led militia that was allied with Washington in the fight against Isis.