Agreement with US on Syrian safe-zone ‘very good start’

The Turkish foreign minister on Thursday called Wednesday's talks with U.S. officials over the creation of a safe-zone in northern Syria a very good start.

"We can describe yesterday's agreement as a very good start, Mevlut Cavusoglu told a news conference on the sidelines of the 11th Ambassadors' Conference in Turkey's capital Ankara.

On Wednesday, Turkish military officials and their U.S. counterparts agreed that the safe-zone in northern Syria would be a "peace corridor" for displaced Syrians longing to return home.

Also, both sides agreed on the immediate implementation of measures to address Turkey's security concern.

A Joint Operations Center in Turkey to coordinate and manage the establishment of the safe-zone was planned during the meeting.

Cavusoglu warned that Turkey will not allow efforts to establish a safe-zone stall like the Manbij roadmap in Syria.

The Manbij deal between Turkey and the U.S. focuses on the withdrawal of YPG/PKK terrorists from the city to stabilize the region, which is located in the northern part of Syria's Aleppo province.

YPG/PKK is the Syrian offshoot of terror group PKK, which has been responsible for the deaths of nearly 40,000 people in Turkey, including many children, women, and infants, for more than 30 years.

Cavusoglu said that U.S. President Donald Trump had told Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan over the phone that U.S. troops will withdraw from the region.

He went on to say that during Wednesday's meeting both sides discussed coordination of the task force, the Syria Working Group and a plan of action during and after the U.S. troops' withdrawal.

"Our goal is the establishment of a safe-zone, and purging YPG/PYD and PKK from the region. They are all the same," he said.

Stating that it was important for Turkey and the U.S. to act in coordination and bring stability to the region, Cavusoglu added that Syrian refugees in Turkey and internally displaced persons (IDP) would return once the safe-zone was created.

Since the eruption of a bloody civil war in Syria, Turkey followed an open door policy toward the Syrians weary of the war. Today, Turkey hosts over 3.6 million refugees who long to return home.

Constitutional Committee of Syria

Turkey's top diplomat also delivered remarks on the Constitutional Committee of Syria and said the trilateral meeting -- between leaders of Turkey, Russia and Iran -- was slated for Sept. 11 in Turkey.

"We have benefited much from this cooperation we started with the Astana process," he said, stating that the process played a role in stopping clashes both on the table and ground.

Cavusoglu said Ankara did all it could do to stop the regime's aggression in northwestern Idlib de-escalation zone of Syria.

Stressing that the trilateral meeting was important to bring permanent peace to the war-weary country, he said: "I had said we were in the final phase regarding the establishment of a Constitutional Committee.

Now, we have raised objection on one name. Russia is doing its best to change this [person]."

The foreign minister went on to say that Turkey, Russia, Germany and France agreed to a quadrilateral summit at the G20 meeting held in Japan in late July.

"Our President [Erdogan] held talks with [Russian President Vladimir] Putin, [French President Emmanuel] Macron and [German Chancellor Angela] Merkel. In the light of these meetings, once the Constitutional Committee is formed, we will plan for the quadrilateral meeting," he said.

Source: Anadolu Agency