Turkey-US to make 'concrete' progress on Manbij roadmap

By Fatih Hafiz Mehmet

ANKARA (AA) – Turkey and the U.S. said Friday that the two countries hope to make concrete progress on the Manbij roadmap by end of the year.

The Turkish-U.S. high level working group on Syria met for the third time in Ankara. The group included senior officials of Turkey’s Ministries of Foreign Affairs and National Defense and the U.S. Departments of State and Defense.

A joint statement after the meeting said: "They committed to accelerated and concrete progress on the Manbij Roadmap by the end of the year.

"They agreed to continue to work on joint planning with regard to other areas as mentioned in the Manbij Roadmap.

"Both sides reaffirmed their resolve to fight terrorism in all its forms and manifestations originating from within Syria and beyond."

They also affirmed their commitment to Syria's sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity and underscored the importance of sustained and irreversible progress on a political solution to the Syrian conflict.

"They reiterated their shared commitment to provide humanitarian assistance to Syrians in need and acknowledged substantial efforts by both governments in this regard."

Both sides decided to meet frequently to effectively address security concerns in Syria.

"For this purpose, both sides agreed to increase the frequency of Working Group meetings on Syria. They decided to convene the next High-Level Working Group on Syria meeting in Washington D.C. no later than February 2019," the statement added.

Turkish and U.S. troops began joint patrols in Syria's northwestern Manbij on Nov. 1 as part of an agreement that focuses on the withdrawal of YPG/PKK terrorists from the city to stabilize the region.

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