FM Çavuşoğlu to dis­cuss Man­bij’s fu­ture with Amer­i­can coun­ter­part Pom­peo

Daily Sabah (Turkey) - - Politics -

FOREIGN Min­is­ter Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said yes­ter­day that the meet­ing with his U.S. coun­ter­part, Mike Pom­peo, on June 4 in Wash­ing­ton, D.C. will fo­cus on Man­bij, cur­rently oc­cu­pied by the PKK’s Syr­ian af­fil­i­ate the Peo­ple’s Pro­tec­tion Units (YPG), which is backed by the U.S.

“It is im­por­tant that the YPG re­treats from Man­bij but it is not enough, it is also im­por­tant to sta­bi­lize all re­gions un­der YPG con­trol,” Çavuşoğlu said.

He also un­der­lined that the U.S.’s sup­port to the YPG is the main rea­son of de­te­ri­o­rat­ing ties be­tween the coun­tries and there­fore oust­ing it from Syria will be a sig­nif­i­cant step for both Syria’s fu­ture and the ties be­tween Turkey and the U.S.

De­spite Turkey’s ob­jec­tions, the YPG moved to cap­ture Man­bij in Au­gust 2016, shortly ahead of Turkey’s Op­er­a­tion Euphrates Shield which was launched on Aug. 24, 2016 to both drive Daesh ter­ror­ists away from its border ar­eas and deny the YPG the chance to ex­pand fur­ther west.

The YPG is the dominant group in the U.S.-backed Syr­ian Demo­cratic Forces (SDF), which con­trols al­most one-third of Syr­ian ter­ri­tory lo­cated east of the Euphrates River.

Ankara and Wash­ing­ton pre­vi­ously agreed to hold talks through mech­a­nisms to re­solve the prob­lems. When then U.S. Sec­re­tary of State Rex Tiller­son vis­ited Ankara on Feb. 16, he stated that “We are not go­ing to act alone any longer, not the U.S. do­ing one thing, Turkey do­ing an­other.” He put great em­pha­sis on the co­op­er­a­tion be­tween sides to reach res­o­lu­tions. How­ever, fol­low­ing the re­place­ment of Tiller­son the talks were sus­pended. Ankara ex­pects to main­tain the un­der­stand­ing that was reached with Tiller­son in its meet­ings with Pom­peo.

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