Turkey, US endorse Syria road map
Turkey and the United States have endorsed a road map over the withdrawal of the People’s Protection Units (YPG) from Manbij province of Syria after months-long negotiations, the Turkish foreign ministry announced after the meeting between two sides’ foreign ministers in Washington on June 4.
Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met in their first encounter in Washington D.C. to primarily finalize a joint work to end a bilateral dispute over the presence of the YPG troops in Manbij.
“They considered the recommendations of the Turkey-U.S. Working Group on Syria pertaining to the future of our bilateral cooperation in Syria on issues of mutual interest, to include taking steps to ensure the security and stability in Manbij. They endorsed a Road Map to this end and underlined their mutual commitment to its implementation, reflecting their agreement to closely follow developments on the ground,” read joint statement issued following the meeting on June 4.
It did not unveil details of the road map but it’s believed that it stipulates the withdrawal of the YPG from Manbij and the joint control of the city by Turkish and American troops. The road map includes a certain timeline that suggests the withdrawal of the YPG within 30 days after the beginning of the implementation of this road map.
Turkey has long been calling its NATO ally to let the YPG remove its troops from Manbij due to the city’s strategic location for Turkey’s security.
The statement underlined the reaffirmation by Turkey and the U.S. to “remain committed to addressing their common concerns in a spirit of allied partnership.”
The two ministers exchanged views on bilateral and regional issues and reaffirmed their joint resolve to fight terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, it said.
“Minister Çavuşoğlu and Secretary Pompeo also discussed Turkey-U.S. relations and agreed to hold further meetings of the working group mechanism to resolve current outstanding issues in the bilateral relationship. An initial session of the Working Group on Judicial and Other Issues took place immediately after the meeting of the Minister and the Secretary,” read the joint statement.