ISTANBUL – US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson arrived on Thursday in the Turkish capital Ankara to discuss the points of tension between the two countries, as part of his five-nation regional tour.
In his two-day visit, Tillerson is set to meet with Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan later on Thursday, while a meeting with his counterpart Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu would be Friday.
Tillerson said at a press conference in the Jordanian capital Amman on Wednesday that Washington and Ankara believed in the “same outcomes” in Syria, including the end of Daesh, the de-escalation of violence and progressing the Geneva peace talks.
Earlier in the day, Tillerson meet with Lebanese President Michel Aoun expressing the US support of a free and independent Lebanon.
“We would like to express our heartfelt wishes for future stability and prosperity in Lebanon,” Tillerson wrote in the Golden Book of the Lebanese Presidency, as quoted by the National News Agency (NNA).
On Jan. 20, the Turkish army launched a cross-border invasion of the Syrian Kurdish enclave of Afrin, with the Turkish government threatening to extend the operation to Manbij, a Syrian region in the hands of Kurdish YPG militias since 2016.
Earlier this week, Tillerson warned that Turkey’s military offensive into northern Syria against Kurdish militias could affect US troops deployed in the area to support the Kurds against the Islamic State terror organization.