Pompeo, Çavuşoğlu agree to coordinate U.S. withdrawal from Syria on the phone
The U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo spoke on the phone on Saturday with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu with both agreeing ''on the importance of continuing U.S.-Turkish consultations as part of the deliberate and coordinated withdrawal of U.S. forces from Syria," according to the readout by the U.S. State Department.
The U.S. President Donald Trump made an abrupt call for an immediate withdrawal of the U.S. troops on December 19th, contradicting statements by his administration's top officials days before. Since then, Ankara and other regional players have been positioning themselves best to be winner for post-U.S. period.
According to the State Department's call:
"Secretary Pompeo reiterated the United States’ commitment to addressing Turkish security concerns along the Turkey-Syria border, while emphasizing the importance that the United State places on the protection of forces who worked with the United States and the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS."
Pompeo and Trump's National Security Adviser John Bolton stated on record that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has promised to Trump on the phone that Turkey will protect the Syrian Kurdish fighters who fought against the Islamic State fighters. So far, Erdogan has neither confirmed, nor denied these remarks.
Pompeo calls on Turkey to resolve the issue around the U.S. citizen Serkan Golge's arrest, according to the readout.
NASA scientist Golge has been jailed in Turkey following the coup attempt more than two years ago, in 2016.
The script ends with Pompeo's call "for the swift resolution of cases involving unjustly detained U.S. citizens, including Serkan Golge, as well as three local staff from the United States Mission in Turkey."