Turkey, US discuss ties in Istanbul

Istanbul: The Turkish President’s Security and Foreign Policy Adviser Ibrahim Kalin met US National Security Adviser Herbert Raymond McMaster here and discussed issues that are hurting bilateral ties, the Turkish media reported on Sunday.

Joint efforts against terrorism, long-term strategic partnership between Turkey and the US, and the latest developments in the region were among the topics under discussion, Xinhua news agency reported quoting the Hurriyet daily.

The meeting came as Turkey is fighting for Afrin, a district in northwestern Syria being held by US-backed Kurdish militia known as People’s Protection Units (YPG), since January 20. Ankara has threatened to move on to target YPG-held Manbij, while Washington has refused to withdraw the troops from the town as demanded by its NATO ally.

As part of efforts to ease tension in bilateral ties and avoid a direct confrontation in Syria, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is expected to visit Ankara in the coming days, while Turkish and US Defence Ministers are scheduled to meet in Brussels next week.