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US, Turkey agrees to normalize relations, Turkish Foreign Minister

Published: Updated:

During a joint news conference on Friday in Ankara the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mevlut Cavusoglu, said that Turkey has agreed to normalize relations with the United States again.

Speaking at the conference with the US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, the Turkish minister said that both parties have decided to establish mechanism to tackle issues on terrorism.

On his part, the secretary of state also expressed the US’ reaffirmation of the deep and important relations with Turkey.

READ ALSO: Turkey assails US over ties with Syrian Kurdish militia

Speaking on the situation in Syria, Tillerson said that the US and Turkey share common objectives in Syria, that is the defeat of ISIS, create secure and stable zones, and ultimately achieve an independent and unified Syria.

Touching upon the Turkish operation in Afrin, Tillerson said that the US recognizes Turkey’s legitimate right to secure its borders. However, he also called on Ankara to show restraint to avoid actions that would escalate tensions in that area.

Tillerson arrived in Turkey on Thursday for two days of what officials have said would likely be uncomfortable discussions between the allies, whose relations have frayed over a number of issues, particularly US support for the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia, seen as terrorists by Turkey.

READ ALSO: Will Operation Olive Branch end the US-Turkey Alliance?

He and President Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday had a “productive and open” discussion on improving ties, a US State Department spokesman travelling with Tillerson said, following weeks of anti-American rhetoric from Ankara.

With Reuters.