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Turkey says US stalling on Syria safe zone will not work

  • 15 Aug 2019

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said the US would not be able to delay Ankara in establishing a safe zone in northeastern Syria as a US delegation visits Turkey to discuss the implementation of a Joint Operations Center.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu holds a press conference in Ankara, Turkey on August 15, 2019. ( AA )

The US will not be able to stall Ankara on the establishment of a safe zone in northern Syria, Turkey’s foreign minister said on Thursday.

"What we say is that a US stalling tactic will not work. Unfortunately, they employed such stalling on Manbij [Syrian town], they did not keep their promise," Mevlut Cavusoglu told a joint news conference with Nabeela F Tunis, his counterpart from Sierra Leone.

The Manbij deal between Turkey and the US focuses on the withdrawal of PYD/YPG from the city to stabilise the region, which is located north of Aleppo near the Turkish border.

The YPG is the Syrian offshoot of the PKK terrorist organisation. In its 30-year terror campaign against the Turkish state more than 40,000 people, including women and children, have been killed.

Turkey, the US and the EU recognise the PKK as a terrorist organisation.

Cavusoglu underlined that the preliminary agreement between Ankara and Washington for a safe zone was only a beginning and that there remained "many topics" that need detailing. 

The Pentagon on Wednesday said the safe zone security measures would be implemented in gradual phases. 

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