US Envoy to Syria: Cooperation with Syria’s Kurds ‘Temporary, Tactical’

Sunday, 9 December, 2018 - 13:30
Ankara - Saeed Abdulrazek

US Special Envoy for Syria James Jeffrey said his country would take some steps by the end of this year to ensure criteria for the road map in Manbij as soon as possible.

He pointed out that Washington's support for the Kurdish warriors is tactical and temporary, stressing the need to collaborate closely with Turkey to reach a final solution in Syria.

“We want to have cooperation with Turkey across the board on all Syrian issues,” Jeffrey told reporters after the meetings.

“We think that there will be no final conclusion of this (Syria) conflict without very close Turkish-American cooperation, and as I said, Manbij is a good model for that cooperation,” he said.

The United States has been carrying out a security audit by fulfilling its commitment on the departure of members of Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and People's Protection Units (YPG) from Manbij, Jeffrey noted, adding that it is making sure they are not included in local councils and local military personnel in the city.

“We are committed to accelerated and concrete progress on the Manbij roadmap by the end of the year,” Jeffrey said in his statements following the third meeting of the Turkey-US working group, which was concluded in Ankara on Friday night.

He added that Turkey and the US had "agreed to continue to work on joint planning with regard to other areas as mentioned in the roadmap."

Jeffrey also noted that joint group discussed all issues related to Syria, starting from east of the Euphrates River until northwestern province of Idlib.

He explained that other areas, in which a model can be applied, will be addressed during the joint planning phase, which has been launched and includes supporting Turkey in Idlib too.

Notably, US and Turkish foreign ministers signed the Manbij roadmap agreement in Washington on June 4.

It stipulated the withdrawal of Kurdish YPG from the city to the east of the Euphrates and joint supervision to achieve its security and stability until the formation of a local council for its administration in a 90-day timeframe.

However, the implementation of the agreement was delayed, and Ankara held Washington responsible for this delay.

Early November, Turkish and US forces started patrolling in the outskirts of Manbij, but elements of the Kurdish YPG are still inside the city.

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