Turkey and the United States have agreed to accelerate efforts to put in place an agreement on Manbij in Syria by the end of the year, Reuters said on December 7th citing a working committee of the two NATO allies.
During the meeting both sides also agreed to continue working on joint planning for other areas, as specified in the Manbij roadmap.
The deal reached earlier this year after months of US-Turkish disagreement, requires the full withdrawal of the Kurdish YPG militia. Ankara, which considers the YPG a terrorist organisation, says the withdrawal has yet to happen.
The roadmap requires the withdrawal of US-backed Syrian Kurds from Manbij to the east of the Euphrates and the establishment of a new city council by local Arabs.
These developments follow the US special representative for Syria James Jeffrey’s call last week for the Astana process — a trilateral negotiation between Turkey, Russia and Iran — to be brought to an end.
Turkey is believed to have allowed for the Astana talks to become an alternative to the internationally-led process for a Syrian settlement in Geneva.