First Turkey-US working group to focus on Syria: Deputy PM
The first Turkey-U.S. working group that will convene in Washington on March 8-9 will focus on “all issues regarding Syria,” Turkish government spokesperson Bekir Bozdağ has stated.
The meeting will focus on issues regarding “terror groups” including the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), Bozdağ said.
The foreign ministers of the two countries are also likely to meet on March 18 or March 19 but the exact date is not yet scheduled, he added.
Washington and Ankara decided to establish “working groups” to tackle a range of areas of tension, including the former’s partnership with the YPG in the anti-ISIL campaign, which Ankara staunchly opposes.
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu met in Ankara last month and said ongoing problematic issues between the two sides, including discord over the YPG presence in the Manbij region of Syria, will be top of the agenda.
Turkey has reportedly proposed to the U.S. that soldiers from the two countries guard the security of Manbij in joint forces after the YPG withdraws to the east of the Euphrates River.