Jan 09, 2019 17:58 UTC
  • Turkey calls for joint cooperation with Iran, Russia on US forces’ pullout from Syria

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has called for joint control with Russia and Iran of US troops’ withdrawal from Syria, saying Washington is facing “certain difficulties” with the planned exit.

“The United States [has] been facing certain difficulties with the process of the troops' withdrawal from Syria. We want to coordinate this process with Russia and Iran, with which we had arranged work in the framework of the Astana process,” Cavusoglu said Wednesday.

He added that the US was facing challenges as it attempted to end involvement with the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) militant group because it was too engaged.

"After being so intertwined and engaged with a terrorist organization, it is not that easy to leave that terrorist organization," he added, referring to the YPG.

The top Turkish said the withdrawal should be coordinated with Iran and Russia to prevent terrorists from taking up the vacated regions.

“[It is needed] in order for terrorist organizations not to fill in the void [following the US pullout],” he said.

He mulled bilateral talks between Turkey and Iran but gave no framework.

He, however, said that a summit between all the three parties was being prepared in Moscow.

Meanwhile, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Wednesday that the presence of American forces failed to provide security for the Arab nation. He added that an immediate withdrawal of US forces from Syria would serve the interests of the Arab country.

“They (Americans) did not provide any security for any one. We believe the sooner they leave Syria the better for the people of this country,” he told reporters on the sidelines of the Raisina Dialogue, a multilateral conference held annually in New Delhi.

Iran, Russia and Turkey act as the guarantors of an all-out ceasefire regime in Syria.

Senior diplomats from the three countries have held several rounds of consultations with the Astana format amid efforts to find a political solution to the crisis in the Arab country.