Turkish FM, US deputy secretary of state discuss Manbij operation, refugee deal
Emine Kart - ANKARAA delegation led by U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken discussed ways to strengthen U.S.-Turkey cooperation on security and counterterrorism with their Turkish counterparts during a day-long meeting at the Foreign Ministry on June 17.
Blinken also met with Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım and Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, who hosted him at their respective offices.
Turkish diplomatic sources told the Hürriyet Daily News that Çavuşoğlu offered his condolences to U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Blinken about the June 12 shooting on an LGBT nightclub in Orlando, in which 49 people were killed and at least 50 were injured.
Blinken also gave his condolences to Çavuşoğlu about recent terror attacks in Turkey.
“The fact that a joint and determined struggle must be waged against terrorism was stressed in the meeting,” the sources said.
“Including the Manbij Operation, which is being carried out in Syria with the support of the international coalition against DEASH [Daesh/the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant - ISIL], updates about the fight against DEASH were discussed in detail. Minister Çavuşoğlu conveyed our sensitivity about the PYD-YPG issue to Blinken,” the sources added.
Turkey regards both the Democratic Union Party (PYD), and the PYD’s militia forces, the People’s Defense Units (YPG), which is fighting ISIL jihadists, as off-shoots of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has been in a reignited conflict with Turkish security forces since July 2015.
The same sources also stated that views were shared on the U.N.-backed Geneva peace talks for Syria, the Turkey-EU agreement on irregular migrants, and the issue of ensuring visa-free travel to Turkish citizens in the Schengen region.