Washington, DC – President Donald Trump spoke on the phone with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the possible creation of a “safe zone” in Syria, the White House said in a statement.
Both leaders “agreed to continue coordination on the creation of a potential safe zone,” said the note, which said that the acting secretary of defense, Patrick Shanahan, and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Joseph Dunford, will be in Washington this week. its Turkish counterparts.
Apart from discussing Syria, the two heads of state discussed trade and highlighted “the importance” of bilateral ties.
In January, Erdogan said he was discussing with Trump the formation of a “security zone” in northern Syria, along the border with Turkey and dominated by the Turkish army.
According to Ankara, the area without “terrorists” could return the millions of Syrian refugees in their territory.
“Our intention is to establish safe areas to which the four million Syrians who are in our country can return,” said the Turkish president, “I believe that the number of Syrians who would return would exceed millions, once there are safe areas.”
Erdogan said his government was carrying out “positive consultations” with the United States. and Russia to “strengthen national security and guarantee the territorial integrity of Syria”.
In December, Trump announced the withdrawal of US troops deployed in Syria in the framework of the coalition against the jihadist group Islamic State (IS).
The 2,000 American troops stationed in Syrian territory are fighting on the ground alongside Kurdish militias, which Ankara considers terrorists.
The Kurdish Syrian armed groups, most of them active in the alliance of the Democratic Syrian Forces (FSD), have affirmed that they will support the creation of a “security strip” in the north of the Arab country, next to the border with Turkey, provided that when they have “international guarantees” that all the communities that inhabit the area, such as Arabs, Kurds, Turkmen, will be protected (EFEUSA)