Turkey, Politics, Americas

Turkey, US discuss latest developments in Syria

Leaders of two countries agree to cooperate on protecting civilians in Idlib de-escalation zone in northwestern Syria

Gözde Bayar   | 29.08.2019
Turkey, US discuss latest developments in Syria


Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke by phone early Thursday with his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump, according to Turkey’s Presidential Communications Directorate.

Erdogan and Trump discussed developments in Syria, particularly in Idlib province, as well as bilateral relations, the directorate said in a statement.

It emphasized that both countries agreed on protecting civilians in Idlib and to continue to cooperate to avoid a new humanitarian crisis in the region.

Turkey and Russia agreed last September to turn Idlib into a de-escalation zone where acts of aggression are expressly prohibited.

Under the deal, opposition groups in Idlib would remain in areas where they were already present, while Russia and Turkey would carry out joint patrols in the area to prevent a resumption of fighting.

The Syrian regime and its allies, however, have consistently broken the terms of the ceasefire, launching frequent attacks inside the zone.

The two leaders also reiterated their resolve to increase the bilateral trade volume to $100 billion, the statement said.

Erdogan also said he was pleased with the steps taken at the recent G7 summit regarding Iran, the statement said.

He also touched on the appointment of new U.S. Ambassador to Turkey David Michael Satterfield, who presented his letter of credentials on Wednesday.

Trump nominated Satterfield as the country's ambassador to Turkey in February. The U.S. Senate confirmed the nomination in late June.

The last American ambassador to Ankara was John Bass, who served from 2014 to 2017.

Bass left Turkey in October 2017 amid a visa crisis between Washington and Ankara. The post had since been vacant.

Diplomatic relations between Turkey and the U.S. were established in 1927 after the foundation of the Turkish Republic in 1923.

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