Yasar Guler and Joseph Dunford held the bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the NATO Military Committee Conference in Slovenia's Ljubljana.

Turkish Chief of General Staff Yasar Guler (L) and US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Joseph Dunford (R) pose for a photo within the 'NATO Military Committee in Chiefs of Defence Session' on January 16, 2019 in Brussels, Belgium.
Turkish Chief of General Staff Yasar Guler (L) and US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Joseph Dunford (R) pose for a photo within the 'NATO Military Committee in Chiefs of Defence Session' on January 16, 2019 in Brussels, Belgium. (AA)

Turkey's chief of general staff and his US counterpart discussed a safe zone in Syria along Turkey’s border on the sidelines of a NATO conference in Slovenia, the Turkish Defence Ministry said Saturday.

Yasar Guler and Joseph Dunford held a bilateral meeting in Slovenia's capital Ljubljana where a two-day NATO Military Committee Conference is being held until September 15, the ministry said in a statement.

The Turkish military chief shared Turkey's expectations for the safe zone east of the Euphrates in Syria, a recent hot topic between the US and Turkey.

On August 7, Turkish and US military officials agreed to set up a safe zone in northern Syria and develop a peace corridor to facilitate the movement of displaced Syrians who want to return home. 

They also agreed to establish a joint operations centre.

Ankara attaches great importance to the safe zone in terms of its fight against YPG/PKK terror groups.

The agreement also envisaged setting up necessary security measures to address Turkey's security concerns, including clearing the zone of the terrorist YPG/PKK, a group the US has sometimes been allied with, despite Turkey’s objections.

Guler and Dunford also discussed some NATO security issues, the ministry added.

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK — listed as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the US and the EU — has been responsible for the deaths of nearly 40,000 people, including women and children. The YPG is the group's Syrian branch.

Source: AA