Monday, 29 November 2021 09:09 GMT

Tillerson says US 'wants more cooperation with Turkey on Syria'

(MENAFN- Trend News Agency ) Washington hopes to cooperate with Ankara to minimize threats against Turkey and continue the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Feb. 14, Turkish media outlets reported.

'We hope to have talks about how we can work cooperatively to lessen those threats to Turkey but ultimately achieve the objective in Syria,' Tillerson said at a joint press conference with Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi in Amman, Jordan.

Ankara is 'an important NATO ally and partner in the region,' added Tillerson, who acknowledged that Turkey faces threats from within its border as well as from areas in Iraq and Syria.

He also noted Washington and Ankara are committed to the 'same outcomes' in Syria, including the defeat of ISIL, the de-escalation of violence there, and moving the Geneva peace talks forward.

The U.N.-backed international peace conference is aimed at ending the Syrian civil war by bringing together the Syrian government and opposition groups to discuss steps toward a transitional government.

'I think what will benefit Turkey the most will be a successful peace process in Geneva that stabilizes all of Syria,' Tillerson said.

Just a day earlier in Kuwait, Tillerson struck a different tone when he said Turkey's military operation to remove terror groups in Afrin is hampering the U.S.-led coalition's efforts to maintain the focus on the fight against ISIL in Syria.

Turkey launched 'Operation Olive Branch' on Jan. 20 to clear YPG militants from Afrin in northwestern Syria.

Tillerson starts his two-day visit to Ankara on Feb. 15, as the two NATO allies seek ways to ease disagreements, particularly over Syria policies.



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