Trump, Erdogan discuss Syria over phone

In their third phone call to discuss the Syria situation and impending plans for US withdrawal, US president Donald Trump discussed with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday a framework that would protect Syrian Kurds while preserving Turkey’s security.
The White House said on Monday that Mr Trump and Mr Erdogan “discussed several bilateral issues, including the ongoing cooperation in Syria.”
“The President expressed the desire to work together to address Turkey’s security concerns in northeast Syria while stressing the importance to the United States that Turkey does not mistreat the Kurds and other Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) with whom we have fought to defeat ISIS”, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said.
The Turkish read-out said the two leaders discussed the idea of a safe zone to secure Turkey’s border and that Mr Trump said it could go as far as 20 miles into Syria.
The White House also said that US chairman of the joint chiefs of staff General Joseph Dunford will arrive in Turkey on Tuesday to continue his consultations from last week with senior Turkish defense officials.
The third Erdogan-Trump call since December 14 followed a threat by the US president on Sunday to devastate Turkey economically if it attacks America’s Kurdish partners.

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