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Turkish-US talks 'positive and rather constructive':Turkey's Defence Minister

Turkey's Chief of the General Staff Hulusi Akar. Photograph:( Reuters )

Reuters Ankara, Turkey Aug 07, 2019, 03.55 PM (IST)

Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said the United States is getting closer to Turkey's views on a proposed safe zone in northeast Syria, and that its military deployment plans are complete, state-owned Anadolu Agency reported on Wednesday.

Speaking in Ankara, Akar also said that Turkey has told the United States it would prefer to act together.

"Our plans, preparations, the deployment of our units in the field are all complete. But we said we wanted to act together with our friend and ally, the United States," Akar was quoted by Anadolu as saying.

Turkey has been growing impatient with the United States, which had agreed to create a safe zone inside Syria's northeastern border with Turkey, set to be cleared of the Kurdish YPG militia.

Ankara has accused Washington of stalling progress on setting up the safe zone and has demanded it sever its relations with the YPG. The group was Washington's main ally on the ground in Syria during the battle against Islamic State, but Turkey designates it as a terrorist organization.

On Wednesday, the third days of Turkish-US talks on the safe zone, Akar described them as "positive and rather constructive", and that he expected them to finish within hours.

Story highlights

Turkey has been growing impatient with the United States, which had agreed to create a safe zone inside Syria's northeastern border with Turkey, set to be cleared of the Kurdish YPG militia.