NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed the agreement between Turkey and the U.S. regarding the safe zone, as he said the development will contribute to de-escalating tensions in northeastern Syria.
Turkish defense minister on Friday spoke over the phone with his U.S. counterpart to discuss the implementation of the agreement on proposed safe zone in northern Syria, said Turkey’s Defense Ministry.
According to a ministry statement, Hulusi Akar and his U.S. counterpart Mark Esper emphasized the aim is to successfully establish the safe zone, agreed on by Turkey and the U.S.
within the framework of the territorial integrity of Syria The statement said Turkey is closely monitoring the withdrawal of the YPG from the proposed safe zone, collection of heavy weapons and disablement of their fortifications, as specified in the agreement.
Stressing that Turkey would continue to fight with determination, the statement said Ankara expects from the U.S. to fulfill the commitments.
It was also stressed that the right to self-defense would be exercised in case of any harassment or hostile movement towards the Turkish Armed Forces.
On Thursday, Turkey and the U.S. came to an agreement to pause Turkey’s anti-terror operation in northern Syria. Turkey agreed to pause its Operation Peace Spring for 120 hours to allow the withdrawal
US President Donald Trump said this past week that he would revive the 50% tariff on imports of Turkish steel in response to the country’s military actions in Northeast Syria.
But the two countries reached an agreement on Thursday October 17, with the US implying that it will refrain from imposing the steel tariff increase if Turkey halts its offensive. Once Operation Peace Spring is paused, the US agrees not to pursue further imposition of sanctions under the executive order of October 14, 2019,” the White House said in issuing a joint statement with Turkey.
The US Commerce Department and White House press office did not respond to Fastmarkets’ request for comment on Friday. The US had increased the Section 232 tariffs against Turkey to 50% in August 2018 before halving them to the previous level of 25% in May of this year.