Pom­peo up­beat on deal with Tur­key over Kurds

South Florida Sun-Sentinel (Sunday) - - Nation & World -

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emi­rates — De­spite Tur­key’s vows to the con­trary, U.S. Sec­re­tary of State Mike Pom­peo said Satur­day he was con­fi­dent the two na­tions can agree on a way to pro­tect U.S.-al­lied Kur­dish rebels in Syria after Amer­i­can troops with­draw from the coun­try.

After speak­ing to Turk­ish For­eign Min­is­ter Mev­lut Cavu­soglu, Pom­peo said an agree­ment was a work in progress but can be achieved in a way that al­lows the Turks to de­fend their coun­try while leav­ing alone Kurds who do not pose a threat.

The top U.S. diplo­mat said he was “op­ti­mistic” that Kurds who fought along­side U.S. forces against the Is­lamic State group in Syria are not threat­ened by pledges from Tur­key’s Pres­i­dent Re­cep Tayyip Er­do­gan to launch mil­i­tary op­er­a­tions against what he terms Kur­dish “ter­ror­ists.”

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