Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu (C-R) meets with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (C-L) at Ankara Palas in Ankara, Turkey on February 16, 2018.
Tillerson arrived in Turkey on Thursday for two days of what officials have said would likely be uncomfortable discussions between the allies, whose relations have frayed over a number of issues, particularly US support for the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia, seen as terrorists by Turkey.
ANKARA, Turkey - The specter of a U.S.
The top Turkish diplomat added that the two sides will hold another meeting by mid-March as part of the mechanisms.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during a two-day visit that followed weeks of escalating anti-American rhetoric from the Turkish government.
"We are not going to act alone any longer, not USA doing one thing, Turkey doing another", Tillerson said in Ankara after talks with Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu. "Turkey's expectations and priorities on these issues were clearly communicated", according to a brief statement.
"The relationship is too important, it's too valuable to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and our North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies, it's too valuable to the American people, it's too valuable to the Turkish people for us to not do anything other than concentrate on how are we going forward", Tillerson said.
When Tillerson returned to his hotel, he was asked by reporters whether he could provide some detail. Moreover, America says it is against the Syrian regime, but at the same time supports the YPG/PYD, which receives support from the regime.The more frustrated Ankara gets with these contradictory USA policies, the more America is pushing Turkey closer to Russian Federation. Tillerson and Cavusoglu planned a news conference today after their meeting.
"There's no gap between them", he told reporters in Beirut.
In Brussels, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said the United States and Turkey are in open dialogue about their differences.
"I believe we are finding common ground and there are areas of uncommon ground where sometimes war just gives you bad alternatives to choose from", Mattis said. This US policy also strengthens Russian allies' hands, particularly the Assad regime and Iran.Lastly, but by no means least, the lack of coherence between the White House and the US military, and the unfulfilled pledges made to Turkey, have led to a severe decline in the image of the US as an ally in the eyes of Turkish politicians and the public. The U.S. considers them the most effective fighting force in the battle to defeat IS in Syria, and this week offered a budget plan that would send them the bulk of $550 million in new assistance.
Turkey has been enraged by USA support for the Syrian Kurdish YPG militant group, which Ankara sees as a terrorist group and an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has been fighting the Turkish state for decades and is also considered a terror network by the U.S.
The US and Turkey, whose forces are at loggerheads in northern Syria, have agreed to try to defuse the crisis.
Turkey has vowed to expand its military operation to Manbij where USA troops are deployed with Kurdish forces to fight the terror group Islamic State (IS).