Turkey, US agree to work together to resolve issues

ANKARA (AFP): Ankara and Washington will continue to work together to resolve their issues, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Friday.

“There might be problems between our countries and there will also be dissidence. However, Turkey always wishes to resolve these issues via diplomacy, dialogue and mutual understanding,” Cavusoglu told reporters after meeting his U.S. counterpart Mike Pompeo in Singapore.

The meeting came on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) foreign ministers’ meeting.

Cavusoglu called his meeting with Pompeo “constructive”.

He added both ministers had agreed to work in close cooperation and continue dialogue.

“Since the beginning we have said that a solution cannot be reached by using threatening language and sanctions,” the minister added.

The U.S. on Wednesday imposed sanctions on Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu and Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul for not releasing American Pastor Andrew Craig Brunson, who faces terrorism charges in Turkey.

The Foreign Ministry strongly protested against the U.S. Treasury Department’s decision, calling on the U.S. administration to reverse its “wrong decision”.

Cavusoglu said the ministers had discussed steps both countries could take to solve the existing problems.

“Of course, it cannot be expected to solve all these crises or problems in one meeting,” he added.

Cavusoglu also said the countries could take steps in many areas, including Manbij roadmap, working group for the PKK and Syria’s Idlib.

The Manbij deal between Turkey and the U.S. focuses on the withdrawal of the PKK-affiliated YPG terror group from the Syrian city in order to stabilize the region.

The State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement that Pompeo and Cavusoglu spoke about a number of issues and had a “constructive” conversation.

“They agreed to continue to try to resolve the issues between our two countries,” Nauert said.

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