Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan continues to thumb a nose at the U.S., EU and all those who are criticising him for the invasion into north-east Syria. In response to U.S. sanctions, he has threatened retaliatory measures. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo now says that he and Vice President Mike Pence will meet the Turkish President despite him saying he will only meet President Donald Trump. Former Indian Ambassador Niraj Srivastava, who has served in Syria gives his perspective on the dynamic developments in this interview to SNI Associate Editor Amitabh P Revi. He discusses India’s stand, how the Russians and the Syrian government are moving into a vacuum left by the Americans, how the Kurds have tactically shifted alignment from the latter to the former after being left high and dry and the humanitarian crisis. The UN estimates over 160,000 civilians are homeless after the Turkish military offensive and other observers say hundreds of combatants and civilians have been killed. Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin has invited his Turkish and Syrian counterparts to Moscow.
Ambassador Niraj Srivastava has served in Indian missions in Syria, Saudi Arabia, Libya, the U.S. and Canada. He has been Ambassador in Uganda and Denmark. He has also been Director, Americas in the Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi and Director in the Foreign Secretary’s Office.