Pompeo 'optimistic' Syria Kurds, Turkey can be protected
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Jan. 12 he was optimistic that a "good outcome" can be achieved that protects both Turkey and the Syrian Kurds, after speaking to the Turkish foreign minister.
"We are confident we can achieve an outcome that achieves both of those," Pompeo told journalists in Abu Dhabi, his latest stop in a regional tour.
He added that the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria is a "tactical change" and does not alter U.S. military capacity to counter ISIL and Iran.
Turkey had rejected the U.S. claim that the Syrian Kurds were represented by the YPG, which Ankara sees as a terrorist organization.
Pompeo discussed latest developments in Syria during a phone call with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu on Jan. 12.
On Jan. 8, he began a nine-nation tour of the Middle East, which is aimed at reassuring allies following U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision in December to withdraw all American troops from Syria.
The tour includes Jordan, Iraq, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, the UAE, Oman and Kuwait.
Pompeo said Trump considers the kingdom a "key ally" for the U.S. and their partnership will keep going.
Journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a U.S. resident, entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2 seeking documents that would have allowed him to marry his Turkish fiancée, Hatice Cengiz.
His body has yet to be found amid reports it was dismembered and chemically dissolved.
Riyadh has indicted 11 people over Khashoggi's killing and is seeking the death penalty for five suspects. But critics have suggested the individuals are merely taking the fall for Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's operation after an unexpected international outcry.