Turkey-US diplomats to meet for Syria

Turkey-US diplomats to meet for Syria

Sevil Erkuş - ANKARA
Turkey-US diplomats to meet for Syria

The Turkish Foreign Ministry undersecretary and his U.S. counterpart will meet in the coming days, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu told reporters on March 20.

“Our undersecretary will head to Washington in the coming days,” Çavuşoğlu said.

Turkey and the U.S. remain fully committed to resolving outstanding issues in the bilateral relationship. We are working with Turkey to find the earliest possible date that is convenient to both sides during this time of transition at the State Department,” David Gainer, spokesperson of the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, told the Hürriyet Daily News.

A meeting between Turkish Foreign Minister and U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had been scheduled for March 19, but was postponed after the latter’s replacement by Mike Pompeo in a surprise decision from President Donald Trump.

NATO allies Ankara and Washington have launched a series of working groups for various issues of tension including the situation in Syria, where Turkey is angry over U.S. support for the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), which Ankara sees as directly linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

The first meeting at the technical level took place last week in Washington, where the two sides discussed a model to be implemented in Syria’s Manbij province. Turkey has long been pressing the U.S. to push the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) to withdraw from Manbij to east of the Euphrates.

The outcome of the working group meeting was to be discussed in the ministers’ postponed meetings. However, the U.S. State Department is still in a transition process so the upcoming meeting has not been scheduled yet.

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