Turkey will continue efforts in Syria after completion of Euphrates operation

And withdrawing troops would leave Turkey's rebel proxies on the ground more open to attack from the YPG and potentially Syrian government forces.

The pastor and his wife, Norine Brunson, were initially detained on immigration violation charges in October, when they were operating a small Christian church in the city of Izmir on Turkey's western coast, media reports say. "'How come you are doing that, why are you going deeper into Syria, ' we said to them, objecting to the operation".

When asked whether the United States would continue to support the YPG, Tillerson preferred ambiguity. The Free Syrian Army (FSA) has been settled there.

"Life is back to normal".

In August, Turkey launched an ambitious military campaign inside Syria, dubbed Euphrates Shield, targeting Islamic State (IS) jihadists and Syrian Kurdish militia fighters that Ankara says are "terrorists".

"The UN Security Council resolution and various decisions on Syria, adopted since 2012 with our proactive involvement, contain no demand or hint that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad must resign". We will work with the Turkish Government and the private sector to expand economic cooperation that benefits both of our countries.

Hints of those points of contention arose during the conference, as Cavusoglu took issue with the arrest in the US of an executive with Turkey's state-run Halkbank who is accused of violating USA sanctions on Iran.

The relationship between Turkey and the U.S. has become strained recently due to the willingness of the USA to work with and support the Kurdish YPG militia which Turkey sees as a branch of the PKK which it deems a terrorist group. The Turkish government conducted airstrikes against the YPG following their retreat, anyway.

In the Netherlands, this campaigning clashed with a Dutch general election and led to the most dramatic showdown between Ankara and an European Union government when Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu was barred from entering and Family Minister Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya was deported.

The meeting comes as Turkey angrily criticised the arrest of a leading Turkish banker in the US.

Asked about Erdogan's comments in an interview with Breitbart News last week, Cavusoglu insisted that Turkish officials had been "very clear" about the objective of their presence in Syria: to eradicate ISIS.

American Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was in Ankara on Thursday for talks with Turkish leaders.

Turkey accuses the Muslim cleric living in self-exile of ordering last year's failed coup against Erdogan.

It also stopped a possible advance from the PKK-affiliated YPG.

Cavusoglu also stressed the Turkish opposition to the YPG, according to the Erdogan-friendly newspaper Sabah. He said options to defeat IS "anywhere Daesh shows its face" were hard.

"The fact [Trump] is not putting pressure for domestic reforms, liberal reforms or attention to human rights [in Turkey] certainly removes one obstacle and certainly makes Trump seem like somebody that Erdogan could more easily work with", Leslie Vinjamuri, an associate fellow at Chatham House's USA and the Americas tells Newsweek.

Tillerson's visit takes place at a time where U.S. -Turkey relations are quite tense and three weeks prior to the referendum in Turkey.

  • Leroy Wright


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