Ankara: The United States (US) and Turkey on Friday agreed to establish a “joint mechanism” to deal with disputes and to take “collective response” as part of the effort to mend US-Turkish relations.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu announced it at a joint news conference with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in Ankara.
Standing next to Tillerson, Cavusoglu said Turkey’s relationship with the US “is at a critical stage”, and the two allies need to decide whether “to mend fences, or go in a different direction,” reported Al Jazeera.
The United States and Turkey are “locking arms” in Syria, Tillerson added, “We are not going to act alone any longer, not the US doing one thing, Turkey doing another. We are going to act together from this point forward.”
Tillerson underscored that the two NATO allies have “good mechanisms” to have cooperation.
The US State Secretary also urged Ankara to show restraint in its military operation in Syria.
Tensions between the US and Turkey are growing over the former’s support to the YPG, a Kurdish militia in Syria, which Ankara alleges is a terror group.
According to the several media reports, the press conference was held after a meeting between Tillerson and Cavusoglu following more than three hours of talks with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan the night before.
Tillerson arrived in Turkey on Thursday for two days of what officials have said would likely be uncomfortable discussions between the allies.
The US Secretary of State is on a five-day regional tour taking in Lebanon as well as Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait and Turkey.