Tuesday, 25 June, 2019

Mike Pompeo says Turkey has committed to protecting Washington's Kurdish allies

President Donald Trump speaks during a cabinet meeting at the White House Wednesday Jan. 2 2019 in Washington President Donald Trump speaks during a cabinet meeting at the White House Wednesday Jan. 2 2019 in Washington
Deanna Wagner | 10 January, 2019, 20:27

"We also look forward to working continually to counter Tehran's malign influence in the region", Pompeo said.

It's unclear if he was directly addressing remarks made by Bolton over the weekend that when Erdogan wrote: "Turkey intends to cooperate and coordinate our actions with our friends and allies."While Bolton said a USA withdrawal will be contingent on whether the White House can reach an agreement with Turkey on protecting the Kurds, he also said the time American troops will remain in Syria is not unlimited - adding "the primary point is we are going to withdraw from northeastern Syria."The national security adviser's repeated caveat that the withdraw is from northeastern Syria, not Syria overall, underscores a policy shift since Trump's December 19 announcement that all American forces would leave Syria".

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who is on a regional tour, also said Wednesday that Turkey had committed to protecting Washington's Kurdish allies fighting the Islamic State in Syria.

He criticized Obama for ignoring the growth of the Iranian-backed Hezbollah movement in Lebanon to the detriment of Israel's security and not doing enough to push back on Iran-supported rebels in Yemen. "We want to coordinate this process with Russian Federation and Iran, with which we had arranged work in the framework of the Astana process", Cavusoglu said Wednesday.

"The good news is this: the age of self-inflicted American shame is over".

Pompeo made the remarks in response to a question about whether a condition set by the USA for the pullout that requires Turkey to promise not to attack the PYD/YPG put the withdrawal at risk. We have rediscovered our voice. "We have rejected false overtures from enemies".

President Trump last month announced that he would pull out the 2,000 U.S. troops in Syria, a controversial decision that led to the resignation of Defense Secretary James Mattis, who wrote that the commander-in-chief was abandoning USA allies. When he made his surprise announcement of the withdrawal three weeks ago, Trump said he wanted to complete it quickly. The US position on the YPG became considerably more nuanced once it became clear that they were the only group that could lead urban assaults on ISIS, and our alliance brought howls of protest from Ankara all along.

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"And he is willing to do it again, although we hope we won't have to", Pompeo said. "I also want to thank the Government of Jordan for its helping in-help to combat Iran's attempt to evade sanctions".

Mike Pompeo is scheduled to head to the capitals of the six Gulf Arab states to make his case.

"New bonds are taking root that were unimaginable until very recently", he said, pointing to Prime Minister Netanyahu's trip previous year to the sultanate of Oman, a country with which Israel has no formal ties. "It undermined the concept of the nation-state, the building block of global stability", he said.

Safadi expressed concern over Iran's hegemonic ambitions, saying, "We all have problems with Iran's expansionist policies in the region". It has vowed to increase the pressure until Iran halts what U.S. officials describe as its "malign activities" throughout the Mideast and elsewhere, including support for rebels in Yemen, anti-Israel groups and Syrian President Bashar Assad.

US President Barack Obama speaks in Cairo on June 4, 2009.

Turkish officials had a tense meeting this week with Trump´s national security adviser John Bolton in Ankara aimed at coordinating the pullout process after Bolton set conditions that appeared to postpone it indefinitely.