Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has hailed a decision by Turkish and US officials to set up a joint operations centre as a first step toward the creation of a peace corridor in northeast Syria.
The Turkish and American officials ended three days of talks in Ankara to discuss plans for a safe zone on Wednesday, saying they had agreed to set up an operations centre in Turkey "as soon as possible." They gave no details but said Turkey's security concerns regarding the region would be addressed.
Speaking at a joint news conference with his Ukrainian counterpart, Erdogan told reporters: "it was important that a step be taken east of the Euphrates (river) and this is being taken together with the Americans."
Erdogan said, "Three-day talks with US military delegation ended positively."
He added: "The important thing is to take a step east of the Euphrates and we are doing so with the Americans."
TRT World's Hasan Abdullah has more.
Annexation of Crimea illegal
President Erdogan said Wednesday that Turkey will not accept illegal annexation of Crimea.
After meeting his Ukrainian counterpart in Ankara, Erdogan told a joint press conference: “Continuation of our kinsmen's existence in their historical motherland Crimea, protection of their identity and culture, preservation of their basic rights and freedoms are Turkey's priorities.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called on Russia to act within international laws.
He stressed that Crimea belonged to Ukraine and said his country and Russia would find a common path to re-establish peace and stability in the region.
Zelensky invited Turkish businesses to his country and guaranteed a comfortable work environment.
The Ukrainian leader is in Turkey for a two-day-visit.
The Eastern European country held snap parliamentary elections last month after Zelensky, a former popular comedian, dissolved parliament, Verkhovna Rada, during his swearing-in ceremony in May.
The elections did not take place in Crimea, a peninsula on the northern Black Sea coast illegally annexed by Russia in 2014, or in eastern Ukraine, which is currently under the control of pro-Russian rebels.