No diplomatic talks with US over Syria's Afrin, Turkish foreign ministry says

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
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There are currently no diplomatic talks with the U.S. regarding Syria's Afrin, Turkey's foreign ministry spokesperson said Tuesday.

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hami Aksoy said that the U.S. Defense Department Spokesperson's statement claiming that Turkey and the U.S. are carrying out diplomatic talks to reduce tensions in Syria's Afrin -where Turkey is conducting Operation Olive Branch— is not true.

"Turkey is currently not carrying out any diplomatic talks with the U.S. about Afrin," Aksoy said.

The spokesperson reminded that a mechanism will be facilitated to overcome Syria-related problems between Turkey and the U.S., which was announced by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson during his Ankara visit on Feb. 15-16.

Despite the reciprocal statements that ushered in a new term for relations between the two countries, a handful of matters remain untouched. The presence of the PKK's Syrian affiliate People's Protection Units (YPG) in Manbij and U.S. arms supply to the terrorist group continue to pose challenges to bilateral ties.

Previously, the U.S. administration under former President Barack Obama had promised Ankara that the YPG would move east of the Euphrates. However, despite warnings from Ankara, the promise was not kept and the YPG has remained in the town.

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