U.S. Seeks to Soothe Turkey Tensions, Pompeo Says
ABU DHABI—The U.S. is operating to unravel a dispute with Turkey over its withdrawal from Syria, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo mentioned Saturday, including that it’s proceeding to negotiate the switch of army accountability and the destiny of its Kurdish allies.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has rejected U.S. efforts to determine stipulations for withdrawal from Syria, difficult the assertions of nationwide safety adviser John Bolton. He has rebuffed calls to give protection to Kurdish warring parties Ankara characterizes as terrorists, whilst the U.S. executive is looking for a dedication to give protection to those that fought along American troops towards Islamic State.
“We recognize the Turkish people’s right, President Erdogan’s right, to defend their country from terrorists,” Mr. Pompeo mentioned. “And we also know that those who aren’t terrorists, those who were fighting alongside of us for all this time, deserve to be protected as well. We are confident we can achieve an outcome that achieves both of those.”
Mr. Pompeo famous that James Jeffrey, the State Department particular envoy for Syria, had traveled to Turkey with Mr. Bolton previous this month. “He’ll travel back to Ankara, I imagine, before too long,” the secretary mentioned.
His feedback come an afternoon after U.S. protection officers mentioned the army had begun shifting apparatus out of Syria in preparation for the troop withdrawal introduced through President Trump in December.
Mr. Pompeo is on a weeklong excursion of the Middle East partially to reassure allies nervous in regards to the U.S.’s dedication to the area after Mr. Trump’s abrupt Syria announcement.
He informed journalists that he spoke with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in regards to the purpose “to protect the Turks from legitimate terror threats, and prevent any substantial risk to folks who don’t present terror risks to Turkey.”
There are “many details still to be worked out, but I’m optimistic that we can achieve a good outcome,” he mentioned.
The Turkish executive has asked considerable U.S. army help to fortify its efforts, elevating the possibility that the U.S. position may just building up prior to it decreases.
Asked in regards to the problem of in quest of cooperation from overseas governments on problems similar to counterterrorism and blunting Iran’s affect, whilst opposing home human-rights abuses through the ones governments, Mr. Pompeo cited Turkey for example of the stability the State Department seems to be to strike.
The secretary mentioned he had engaged in “a complex set of conversations” with Mr. Cavusoglu that integrated now not most effective the Syria project, but in addition human-rights considerations.
“We talked about lots of elements of the U.S.-Turkish relationship, and part of that conversation was about the fact that we still have three locally employed Americans that are wrongfully detained—one of our NASA folks, Serkan Golge, is still detained there.”
As to the possibility of the Syrian Kurds negotiating with Damascus to protected their destiny, Mr. Pompeo cited the “mission set” established through the U.S. in Syria: lowering violence and undertaking international relations to facilitate a political answer led through the Syrian other folks.
“There’s a long history there,” he mentioned. “This long predates the civil war. So we need to be mindful of the histories of these peoples, as well, and respectful of that. And so the political resolution that will be arrived at, if this process is successful, will do that. It will honor those things that the Syrian people demand be honored.”
The U.S. objective is to deliver all stakeholders in combination to craft a political answer, Mr. Pompeo mentioned.
“It’s been a long process. It’s been slower than we would have wished. We hope we can turn the corner here in the next couple months,” he mentioned.
Write to Courtney McBride at [email protected]
Corrections & Amplifications
Mevlut Cavusoglu’s first identify used to be misspelled as Mehmet in an previous model of this newsletter. (Jan. 12, 2019)