ANKARA – Turkey’s minister of foreign affairs and his United States counterpart agreed on Friday to set up a series of mechanisms in an effort to rebuild damaged relations.
Mevlut Cavusoglu said during a joint press conference with Rex Tillerson in Ankara that the ties between Turkey and the US had reached a low point.
“Expressed clearly our views in Turkey-US relations at our meeting with the US Secretary of State Tillerson,” Cavusoglu tweeted, adding that it was down to the US to take the necessary steps to salvage mutual trust.
The US top diplomat, who was on a tour of the region, stressed the important ties between the two NATO member countries.
The meeting of the pair came after Turkey launched a military offensive against Kurdish YPG forces in the Syrian enclave of Afrin.
Ankara regards the YPG as a terrorist threat to its border intrinsically linked to its more habitual enemies, the Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK) in eastern Turkey.
TopTurkish officials have been angered by ongoing US support for the YPG in Syria, but Tillerson tried to allay fears at the conference by insisting that both Turkey and the US shared the same objective in Syria.
“Our concern is directly related to our citizens being killed by rockets launched by the YPG from Afrin,” Cavusoglu said referring to recent rockets attacks across the Turkish border from Syria.
Tillerson responded: “We take it seriously when our NATO ally, Turkey, says that it has security concerns.”
He added that weaponry provided to the Syrian Democratic Forces, the umbrella group in which the YPG plays a leading role, would be limited, mission-specific and provided on an incremental basis.
Tillerson started his two-day visit to Ankara on Thursday by meeting with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.