Turkey to launch operation in Syria if safe zone not established: FM

Source: Xinhua| 2019-07-23 05:43:28|Editor: Shi Yinglun
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ANKARA, July 22 (Xinhua) -- Turkey will launch a new operation in northern Syria if a safe zone is not created, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Monday.

In an interview with private broadcaster TGRT News, Cavusoglu said he hoped an agreement would be reached after meeting with the U.S. special envoy for Syria James Jeffrey, who is visiting Ankara.

Talks between Turkey and the United States on the safe zone in northeastern Syria had recently slowed, the Turkish top diplomat said.

"If the safe zone is not established as planned and threats against our country continue, we will launch the military operation in the east of the Euphrates," he noted.

On Monday, a U.S. high-level delegation headed by James Jeffrey met with a Turkish team led by Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Onal in Ankara to continue their negotiations on the safe zone.

In January, U.S. President Donald Trump proposed the establishment of the safe zone as a solution to ease tensions between Turkey and the U.S.-backed Kurdish Peoples' Protection Units militia, seen as a terrorist group by Ankara.

Turkey wants to have full control of the safe zone, while the United States insists on an area without permanent deployment of Turkish troops.