Turkey expects US to fulfill promise, withdraw PYD from Manbij

MERVE AYDOĞAN @mgulaydogan
Published 15.08.2016 22:32

Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu reminded U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday that he had personally made a promise to withdraw the Syrian PKK affiliate Democratic Union Party's (PYD) armed People's Protection Units (YPG) to the east of the Euphrates once the Manbij operation ends.

The YPG-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) announced on Friday that they had seized full control of the northern Syrian town of Manbij from DAESH.

Speaking to the media on Monday following a meeting with main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, Çavuşoğlu said: "The U.S. and the President Barack Obama personally promised that PYD members in the SDF would be withdrawn to the east of the Euphrates River. Now the U.S. must keep its promise, and we expect them to. We are maintaining our communications regarding this matter."

Despite the inclusion of local Arab and Turkmen groups in the SDF and apparent U.S.-supported forces, Ankara monitors the SDF's moves with great suspicion, as it considers the YPG the Syrian affiliate of the PKK. Çavuşoğlu said that Ankara expects the YPG to withdraw east of the Euphrates after the SDF and other U.S.-backed forces seized control of the Syrian town of Manbij from DAESH terrorists.

He said he and Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ will pay an official visit to the U.S. to convey a new document including evidence of Gülen's involvement in the recent coup attempt. Çavuşoğlu also strongly criticized Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström for her recent remarks on a social media account. "A foreign minister tweeting by referencing false information is an absolute scandal. … It is unacceptable. A foreign minister must be responsible and not lie."

Çavuşoğlu paid an official visit to the opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) on Monday, where he informed both the CHP and MHP of the country's current foreign policy.

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