US Syria representative Jeffrey will arrive in Turkey to hold meetings over Syria

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 24.01.2019 11:24
Updated 24.01.2019 12:04
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AA Photo

U.S. Special Representative for Syria Engagement James Jeffrey will arrive in Turkey on Wednesday to hold meetings to discuss the proposed safe zone along Turkey's border in northern Syria, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said.

No details of the proposed safe zone were certain yet, Çavuşoğlu said in a live interview on A Haber news channel and added that any decision on the safe zone should be taken in coordination with Turkey.

The minister said the safe zone would not be similar to the one in northern Iraq and the proposed 20-mile size could change depending on the geographical conditions.

"If U.S. or any country wants to cooperate with us in the establishment of the safe zone, we won't oppose it. But Turkey has the power to establish this zone by itself," the minister said.

Çavuşoğlu told Jeffrey was set to arrive in Ankara to further discuss the topics with Turkish officials without giving further information.

Regarding Trump's decision to pull the U.S. military from Syria, Çavuşoğlu said Washington gave no timetable on the withdrawal and both countries were coordinating the process.

"We share the same views with Washington on a lot of issues except a few minor topics. We are talking to the U.S. about severing its ties with People's Protection Units (YPG)," the minister said.

Çavuşoğlu also said Turkey was in close cooperation with Russia to find a political solution to the Syrian crisis and both countries agreed on pretty much anything except for Bashar Assad, who is backed by Moscow.

"We will hold talks with [Iranian Foreign Minister] Zarif and [Russian Foreign Minister] Lavrov to gather Syrian constitutional committee as soon as possible," he said.

Regarding Trump's decision to formally recognize Venezuela's opposition leader Juan Guaido as the nations legitimate president after he declared himself interim president, Çavuşoğlu said Turkey stands with President Nicolas Maduro.

"President [Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan called Maduro to voice his support," he said.

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