Turkey, US reached understanding, not agreement on Manbij, FM says

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 21.03.2018 14:11
Updated 21.03.2018 17:00

Turkey, and the U.S. did not reach an agreement but an understanding on Syria's Manbij, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said Wednesday.

"If we reach consensus regarding the roadmap with the U.S., we can then say that we have an agreement, but right now we only reached an understanding, contrary to what previous reports claimed," Çavuşoğlu told reporters during a news conference in Ankara.

The foreign minister noted that the agreed model in Syria's Manbij will be applied to all areas controlled by the PKK-linked People's Protection Units (YPG), adding that it will not be enough for the terrorist group to retreat from Manbij.

"There will be other cities after Manbij," Çavuşoğlu said.

Turkey and the U.S. agreed to build a mechanism during Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's last visit to Ankara, in which the two countries' defense ministries and intelligence agencies worked together to resolve issues ranging from Syria to the fight against Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ).

Çavuşoğlu was due to meet Tillerson on March 19 to discuss to agree on a roadmap for Syria's Manbij, including the withdrawal of the People's Protection Units (YPG), and the return of weapons handed to the terrorists by the U.S. However, Trump's unexpected ousting of Tillerson changed plans. Despite the delay caused by the sacking of Tillerson, Turkish officials said they expect the U.S. to act in accordance with the common understanding reached by both sides.

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