Turkey: Ministers discuss security, foreign relations

             By Sarp Ozer</p>  <p>ANKARA (AA) - Turkey’s defense chief and top diplomat met on Wednesday to discuss the regional security and foreign relations in the capital Ankara, the Defense Ministry said.</p>  <p>In an evaluation meeting between the delegations, Defense Minister Hulusi Akar and Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu addressed the latest developments in the Aegean Sea and the Eastern Mediterranean, as well as the proposed safe zone in Syria, in particular, a ministry statement said.</p>  <p>In December, U.S. President Donald Trump suddenly announced the withdrawal of American troops from Syria, however, since then Washington has backtracked and said in February a few hundred troops would remain for peacekeeping efforts and to create the safe zone.</p>    <p>The U.S. has also mentioned that the safe zone would not include the YPG, the Syrian offshoot of the PKK terrorist organization.</p>  <p>Also attended by senior Turkish officials, including Chief of General Staff Gen. Yasar Guler, Land Forces Commander Umit Dundar, Naval Forces Commander Adnan Ozbal, Air Forces Commander Hasan Kucukakyuz and Deputy Foreign Ministers Sedat Onal and Yavuz Selim Kiran, the meeting reiterated firm stance in defending Turkey’s rights and interests.</p>  <p>* Writing by Burak Bir