Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has said the implementation of a roadmap for withdrawal of YPG/PKK terrorists from the northern Syrian city of Manbij is expected to begin after his meeting with U.S. counterpart Mike Pompeo.
“After giving approval to Manbij [issue] in the east of the Euphrates [river] tomorrow [Monday] as two ministers, we will begin to implement it, which may be a turning point for bilateral relations,” Cavusoglu said at an iftar [fast-breaking] program in Washington Sunday.
The Turkish-American National Steering Committee (TASC) had arranged the iftar at the Diyanet Center of America.
The roadmap on Manbij is expected to be announced following the meeting with Pompeo, which would focus on the withdrawal of the PKK-affiliated YPG terror group from the northern Syrian city and regional stability in the region.
The foreign minister said the U.S. support for the PKK/PYD terrorist organization in Syria is one of the most important issues creating a dispute between Ankara and Washington.
“We strive for a political solution in Syria. We reject all efforts towards dividing Syria. We have been working as a main actor for the political solution in Syria with Astana, Sochi and Geneva [peace] processes,” he said.
Cavusoglu also mentioned that a negative atmosphere against Turkey had been created at the U.S. Congress over the delivery of the F-35 fifth generation fighter jets to Ankara.
“But before we get these systems [from Russia] we wanted to buy them from our allies and the United States. But they did not sell us. We had to buy them from Russia. If the U.S. is ready to sell us, we want to get it from our allies too,” Cavusoglu added.
The foreign minister also spoke about Turkey’s continued support to Palestinians over the status of Jerusalem while underlining that some Muslim countries were not being active enough on the issue.
“Turkey will continue to fight to preserve the rights of [Muslim] Ummah,” he added.
Turkey’s top diplomat also criticized the U.S. administration for not taking any action for the extradition of Fetullah Gulen, leader of the Fetullah Terrorist Organization, a network behind the deadly coup attempt in Turkey in 2016.
FETO issue would also be discussed during the meeting with Pompeo, Cavusoglu added.