Readout of Minister Akar's phone call today with US Secretary of Defense Mr. Esper

Minister Akar had a phone call today with U.S. Secretary of Defense Mr. Esper.
During the call, Minister Akar stated that;
​- Turkey’s expectation from the U.S. is to terminate entirely its support for the PKK/YPG terror organization, 
​- Turkey will not allow the establishment of any terror corridor to the south of its border with Syria,
​- Turkey wants safety and security not only for its country and its people, but also for all of the people in the region, including all religious and ethnic groups such as Kurds, Arabs, Assyrians, Christians and Yezidis.
With regards to the Safe Zone to be established in the north of Syria, Minister Akar emphasized that Turkey is the only appropriate, ready and capable force in the region to control and provide security in that zone. Mr Akar reiterated the following criteria to Mr. Esper;
- All weapons of PKK/YPG in the zone should be collected
- PKK/YPG should be completely removed from the Safe Zone,
- The Safe Zone would be on average 30-40 km deep from our borders for reasons explained many times before,
- All PKK/YPG fighting positions, tunnels, fortifications etc. should be destroyed,
- The Safe Zone should be controlled by Turkey in coordination with the US.
Minister Akar also reminded his US counterpart Turkish President’s statement on 26 July that if we fail to reach a common understanding with the US, we will have to establish the Safe Zone unilaterally.
Regarding the F-35 project, Minister Akar reiterated that Turkey is not only a client but also an investor and production partner in the project and the project should proceed in its own way.
Minister Akar congratulated Mr. Esper for his approval as the Secretary of Defense.



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