Turkey, americas

Turkish defense minister meets US senator in Ankara

Defense Minister Hulusi Akar says Turkey and US can solve problems with cooperation

Sena Güler  | 18.01.2019
Turkish defense minister meets US senator in Ankara Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar (L) and U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R) shake hands as they pose for a photo ahead of their meeting in Ankara, Turkey on January 18, 2019. ( Arif Akdoğan - Anadolu Agency )

By Duygu Yener

ANKARA

Turkey's national defense minister said Friday promises made in Syria's Manbij were not kept and his country would not allow the establishment of a terror corridor on its southern border.

"The promises made in Manbij weren't kept, the YPG and PKK are two sides of the same coin, and Turkey is fighting PKK/YPG, Daesh and FETO terror groups," Hulusi Akar stressed during a meeting with U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham in capital Ankara, according to a written statement by the ministry.

Akar also noted that Turkey would not allow the establishment of a terror corridor along its southern border and the two countries would solve the problems by working together.

It added that latest developments in Syria and Turkey-U.S. cooperation were among the topics discussed during the meeting.

Graham was earlier received by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and met Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.

Manbij remains under the control of the PYD/YPG, the Syrian affiliate of the PKK terrorist organization. During its 30-year terrorist campaign against Turkey, the PKK has taken some 40,000 lives.

On Wednesday, a bombing in Manbij killed three U.S. soldiers.

The attack came after U.S. President Donald Trump's surprise announcement last month of the withdrawal of American forces from Syria.

The pullout decision came during a phone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in which the two leaders agreed on the need for more effective coordination over the civil war-torn country.

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