Turkish deputy foreign minister in US for talks


By Tugcenur Yilmaz

ANKARA (AA) – Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister on Wednesday headed to the U.S. for high level talks with officials, diplomatic sources said Friday.

Sedat Onal continues meetings with the U.S. officials, particularly with the U.S. State Department, on the bilateral relations and regional issues, especially Syria, said the Turkish sources who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump on Thursday discussed bilateral issues, including the latest developments in Syria — including Manbij and Idlib — in a phone call.

The phone call came after Turkish and U.S. troops began their first round of joint patrols in the northern Syrian city of Manbij, as part of a deal to rid the area of the YPG/PKK terrorist group.

The Manbij deal between Turkey and the U.S. focuses on the withdrawal of YPG/PKK terrorists from the city to stabilize the region, which is in the northeast of northern Syria's Aleppo province.

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU — has been responsible for the death of some 40,000 people, including those of women and children. The YPG is its Syrian branch.