US delegation in Turkey discuss Syria's Manbij

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A U.S. delegation began negotiations with Turkish officials on Manbij, northern Syria on Friday, Turkey's Foreign Ministry spokesman said.

Axar.az informs citing AA.

Turkey and the U.S. have established a mechanism to address separate issues in working groups, including stabilization of Manbij and to prevent any undesirable clashes, following the visit of former U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to capital Ankara in February.

“The second part of this meeting is being held today. We are hosting the U.S. delegation,” Hami Aksoy told reporters in Ankara during a news conference.

The first meeting of the working group on Syria was held on March 8-9 in Washington.

Manbij will remain the key focus of Friday's meeting, said Aksoy and added the minutes of Friday's meeting will be released after a meeting between Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and his U.S. counterpart Mike Pompeo on June 4 in Washington.

Manbij, a YPG/PKK-held city, has caused friction in Turkish-U.S. ties, with Turkey rejecting the U.S. working with the terrorist YPG/PKK, demanding the group’s withdrawal.

U.S. military support for the terrorist group in Manbij has strained ties between Ankara and Washington, and has led to fears of military clashes between the two NATO allies, since there are roughly 2,000 U.S. troops in the city.

This January, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch in Afrin, northern Syria to clear terrorist groups from the area. After liberating the city of Afrin, Ankara said it might also extend its operation further east to Manbij, unless the YPG/PKK terrorist group leaves the strategically located city.

2018.05.25 / 15:14
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