Americas, Middle East

Talks on Manbij roadmap fruitful, productive: McGurk

Cooperation between two countries has deescalated tensions around Manbij, says special U.S. presidential envoy

Safvan Allahverdi   | 27.06.2018
Talks on Manbij roadmap fruitful, productive: McGurk Special Presidential Envoy for Global Coalition to Defeat Daesh, Brett McGurk

Washington DC

By Safvan Allahverdi

WASHINGTON

The U.S. and Turkey have concluded a roadmap for the northern Syrian city of Manbij, a senior official from the Trump administration said Tuesday.

"We concluded a roadmap with Turkey, and our discussions with them have been fruitful and productive, and we look forward to those to continue," Brett McGurk, the special U.S. presidential envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS [Daesh], said at the Political Director's Meeting of the Global Coalition To Defeat ISIS in Morocco.

"We are grateful for that cooperation," he added.

McGurk also praised the work the two countries have done to deescalate tensions, particularly around Manbij.

The roadmap was announced after a June 4 meeting in Washington between Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

The deal focuses on the withdrawal of the PKK-affiliated YPG terror group from Manbij and on stability in the region.

The Turkish General Staff said in a statement Sunday that the two countries' forces conducted patrols separately in the area between the Operation Euphrates Shield region in northern Syria and Manbij according to the roadmap.

The first patrols by Turkish and U.S. troops in the region began June 18.

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK has taken some 40,000 lives, including those of women and children. The YPG/PKK is its Syrian branch.

Turkey has said the presence of terror forces near its border constitute a threat and has launched military operations and other efforts to rid the region of terrorists.

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