Ankara not satisfied with progress on Syria "safe zone" with U.S.
Speaking to reporters after the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu reiterated that Turkey was not satisfied with the current state of talks with the United States to establish a planned "safe zone" in northern Syria. The minister also added that it would act unilaterally if the talks did not yield results.
Turkey is not satisfied with the current state of talks with the United States to establish a planned "safe zone" in northern Syria, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on Friday.
"We are not satisfied with the current state and we have said this to the Americans, clearly," Çavuşoğlu told reporters in New York.
He detailed the safe zone should have an operation center, joint patrols, should clear the area of terrorists and the establishment of facilities for residents. It should also ensure the return of Syrian refugees.
"It will be deceptive to look at the issue just in respect of Syrian refugees. It is an issue of national security for us as the terror groups here pose a threat to Turkey," said Çavuşoğlu, as he warned Turkey may face "bigger threats" if terror groups are not cleared of the region.
Turkey has long championed the idea of terrorist-free safe zones in Syria and stressed ridding the area of the terrorist YPG/PKK, the Syrian branch of the PKK, as well as resettling Syrian migrants currently in Turkey.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said earlier on Friday that efforts were on schedule, but warned that Turkey had completed military preparations along its border.
Speaking to reporters after the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Çavuşoğlu reiterated Ankara's warning that it will act unilaterally if talks do not yield results.
He also said Washington was considering re-including Turkey in the F-35 fighter jet programme, from which Ankara was suspended over its purchase of Russian defence systems.
Turkish and U.S. military officials agreed Aug. 7 to set up a safe zone in northern Syria and develop a peace corridor to facilitate the movement of displaced Syrians who want to return home.