Pompeo ‘optimistic’ about deal between Turkey, Kurdish groups

14 January, 2019 12:00 AM printer

Doha: Washington’s top diplomat said he was “optimistic” an agreement with Ankara could be reached which will protect Syrian Kurdish groups while allowing Ankara to “defend their country from terrorists” following a United States pullout from Syria, reports Al Jazeera. 

“We are confident we can achieve an outcome that achieves both of those,” United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told journalists on Saturday in Abu Dhabi.

The Gulf emirate is his latest stop in a regional tour aimed at reassuring allies after a shock December announcement by President Donald Trump that US troops would be withdrawn from Syria.

Pompeo’s remarks follow tensions between the US and Turkey over the fate of Washington’s Syrian Kurdish allies in the fight against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) fighters. Turkey had reacted angrily to suggestions that Trump’s plan to withdraw troops was conditional on the safety of the US-backed Kurdish fighters, seen by the Turkish government as terrorists.