We ask Turkey to stop cooperating with Venezuela - U.S. Envoy

Turkey continues its support to Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro despite Washington’s requests, according to the U.S. President Donald Trump’s special envoy to the Latin American nation, the Financial Times reported on Thursday.

The Financial Times quoted Elliott Abrams as saying to reporters on Thursday that the Turkish president was “strongly supporting the Maduro regime” and that U.S. officials had “not had the cooperation from Turkey” that the Washington had wanted.

The Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been a vocal supporter of Maduro, who is facing economic war and harsh embargoes led by the United States, which supports Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó.

Turkey continues to set up joint ventures with the Venezuelan government for gold and coal exploration and has started investing in the country’s oil industry.

According to Abrams, Washington asked Ankara to halt the process. “Whether it’s gold or anything else of value, we inquire and we ask the government in question to stop it,” he said.

“We have not had the cooperation from Turkey that we want. Turkey is undermining its own position, not only in Venezuela but all of Latin America,” the Financial Times quoted Trump’s special envoy as saying.

Abrams declined to comment on the possible consequences for Turkey of failing to comply with the U.S. demands, the Financial Times said.

Erdoğan’s support to Maduro is only one of the several issues that has soared the relationship between two NATO allies in the last couple of months. Some analysts say that Turkey also risks U.S. sanctions by insisting on a deal with Russia over the purchase of S-400 missile systems.