The US national security adviser meets with a senior Turkish official to hammer out plans on the withdrawal of American forces from war-torn Syria.

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The US national security adviser met a senior Turkish official on Tuesday to hammer out plans on the withdrawal of American forces from war-torn Syria.

John Bolton is in Ankara along with senior US military staff to hold talks with Turkish Presidential Spokesman Ibrahim Kalin and other officials on the planned troop drawdown. A scheduled joint press conference for later on Monday was abruptly cancelled.

Bolton and Kalin had a productive discussion regarding the United States’ decision to withdraw from Syria, a spokesman for the US National Security Council said.

Garrett Marquis said in a statement the two sides identified further issues for dialogue and the United States looks forward to ongoing military-to-military consultations.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has praised US President Donald Trump‘s decision last month to pull about 2,000 US soldiers out of northern Syria, but said the withdrawal must be done with the “right partners”.

In an op-ed article for the New York Times on Monday, Erdogan expressed Turkey’s commitment to defeating Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, ISIS) and “other terrorist groups” in Syria.

“President Trump made the right call to withdraw from Syria. The United States withdrawal, however, must be planned carefully and performed in cooperation with the right partners to protect the interests of the United States, the international community and the Syrian people,” Erdogan wrote.

Turkey, which has NATO’s second largest standing army, is the only country with the power and commitment to perform that task.”

 

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