close

News WrapGet Handpicked Stories from our editors directly to your mailbox

In a phone call, Erdogan and Trump agree to carry out US withdrawal from Syria

File photo. Photograph:( AFP )

Reuters Ankara, Turkey Feb 22, 2019, 01.34 PM (IST)

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and US President Donald Trump agreed in a phone call on Thursday to carry out the US military withdrawal from Syria in line with their mutual interests, Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency said.

In December, Trump confounded his own national security team with a surprise decision to withdraw all 2,000 US troops from Syria, declaring that Islamic State had been defeated there.

Erdogan previously said that uncertainty remained over the US withdrawal from Syria, adding there was talk of the pullout taking place in April or May.

During their phone call, Erdogan and Trump agreed that the US withdrawal from Syria should not damage the mutual goals of Ankara and Washington, Anadolu said.

Turkey wants to set up a safe zone with logistical support from allies and says it should be cleared of the US-backed Kurdish YPG militia, which Ankara views as a terrorist organisation linked with Kurdish militants on its own soil.

Erdogan and Trump also discussed bilateral relations and the latest developments in Syria, Anadolu said, adding that the two agreed to support a political resolution to the Syria conflict.

Erdogan reaffirmed Turkey's desire to maintain close ties with the United States in the phone call and the two leaders agreed to improve bilateral economic ties, Anadolu said.

Story highlights

In December, Trump confounded his own national security team with a surprise decision to withdraw all 2,000 US troops from Syria, declaring that Islamic State had been defeated there.