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'Manbij roadmap to be announced after US meeting'

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The Turkish foreign minister said on Saturday that the roadmap on Syria's Manbij would be announced following negotiations with his U.S. counterpart Mike Pompeo on June 4 in Washington. informs citing AA.

Speaking to reporters in the southern Antalya province, Mevlut Cavusoglu said the meeting would focus on withdrawal of the PKK-affiliated YPG terror group from northern Syrian city and regional stability in the region.

"Who will govern here [Manbij] until a political solution is reached in the country? Who will be responsible for security? Joint action and joint decision with the U.S. on these issues is the basic framework of the main roadmap," Cavusoglu said.

He said if the Manbij plan is implemented successfully, other YPG-held Syrian towns would follow.

"We have to stabilize these places," Cavusoglu said, adding that there are hundreds of thousands of Kurds who had to flee persecution by YPG.


Should the final deal be agreed on June 4, YPG/PKK terrorists will leave Manbij in accordance with a date to be determined in Washington.

In the second phase which is expected to start 45 days after June 4, the U.S. and Turkish military and intelligence authorities will start a joint inspection of Manbij.

The third phase includes forming a local administration in Manbij within 60 days after June 4.

The military council responsible for security and the local council responsible for municipal services will be formed taking ethnic distribution of the population into consideration.

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

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

U.S. military support for the YPG/PKK 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.

In 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.

2018.06.02 / 22:37
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