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'Expat Syrians can return after Turkey-US Manbij deal'


A roadmap drawn up by Turkey and the U.S. will pave the way for people forcefully displaced by PYD/PKK terrorists in Manbij, Syria to return home, Turkey’s foreign minister said on Monday, APA reports quoting Anadolu Agency.

 

Speaking at the residence of Turkey's Ambassador to the U.S. Serdar Kilic in Washington after meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Mevlut Cavusoglu said: "First Turkey and the U.S. will work on details of the roadmap to rid Manbij, Syria of the PYD/PKK terror group."

 

Cavusoglu said less than six months would be needed for the roadmap to be carried out.

 

"There is a specific date. This depends on the steps taken in the field," he said.

 

If the Manbij issue was solved, it would address part of a major issue dividing Ankara and Washington. Turkey has long objected to U.S. support for the terrorist PYD/PKK, a Syrian branch of the terrorist PKK, and the target of Turkey’s recent Operation Olive Branch in Afrin, Syria.

 

About the delivery of U.S. F-35 jets to Turkey -- which some U.S. officials have tried to throw doubt on -- Cavusoglu said there is no change in the date. "[Delivery] will be on June 21 as planned," he said.

 

He said Turkey rejected "threatening language" from the U.S. on the issue, saying it is "not constructive."

 

Cavusoglu also said that Pompeo had told him the FBI is “seriously investigating the FETO terrorist group on U.S. soil".

 

The presence of FETO leader Fetullah Gulen in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania, despite Turkish extradition requests, has been a chief thorn in the side of Turkish-U.S. ties. Turkey has also decried the presence of FETO-linked schools -- a revenue stream for the group -- in both the U.S. and other countries worldwide.

 

FETO was behind the July 15, 2016 defeated coup in Turkey, which martyred 250 people and injured some 2,200.

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