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Kalın holds a press conference following his meeting with Bolton

Kalın holds a press conference following his meeting with Bolton

Turkiye Presidential Spokesman İbrahim Kalın held a press conference following his meeting with US National Security Advisor Bolton.

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Presidential Spokesman İbrahim Kalın held a press conference after his meeting with the White House National Security Advisor John Bolton at the Presidential Complex.

Speaking on the issues discussed in the meeting, the Presidential Spokesman Kalın answered the questions of the members of the press and made evaluations about the developments in the Syrian context.

“Turkiye Presidential Spokesman İbrahim Kalın held a meeting with the U.S. delegation, headed by John Bolton, the National Security Advisor to U.S. President Donald Trump, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Special Representative for Syria, and other relevant officials.

"We held a comprehensive meeting and discussed in detail how the withdrawal process will proceed," Kalın said.

Stating that they welcome Trump’s decision to withdraw from Syria, Kalın said: "However, it is necessary to clarify such issues as how the withdrawal will be conducted, what kind of a structure will be left behind, what will happen to the heavy weapons that have been handed out, what the future of the U.S. bases and logistic centers there will be, etc.

Kalın noted that they have discussed all these issues in detail during the meeting. "Later today, as well as in the days ahead, our military and intelligence officials will continue to discuss the issue in depth. Within the framework of our relations of alliance with the U.S., we will continue to do our best to ensure that the withdrawal proceeds successfully," he added.

Underscoring that Turkiye’s stance with regard to Syria’s territorial integrity has been very clear since the beginning Kalın added that besides its territorial integrity, Syria’s political unity is also of critical importance.

Kalın stated that another important principle of is the elimination of all the terrorist organizations from the Syrian territory, including from its border with Turkiye.

"This will not only ensure our border security but will also save the Syrian civilians - be it Kurds, Arabs, Muslims, Christians or Yazidis - from terrorist attacks and oppression," he noted.

"Therefore, as President told Trump, there is no step back, weakness or pause in the fight against DAESH. Having waged an effective fight against it, Turkiye is the leading country in the war on DAESH."

Underlining that Turkiye has done its part as an important member of the Global Coalition against DAESH by clearing the Jarabulus-Al Bab line of DAESH through Operation Euphrates Shield, Kalın said that when looking at the map today, they see no presence of the DAESH, of the PKK or its Syrian branch, the PYD/YPG, or of the regime elements in the area extending from Idlib to Afrin and from Afrin to Al Bab and to Jarabulus.

"Within the framework of the model we have developed in this region, administrative units composed of the opposition and the local elements oversee the flow of daily life and ensure security there, which enabled nearly 200,000 Syrians to return home from Turkiye last year," he said.

Kalın stated that Turkiye has fulfilled, and will continue to fulfill, its responsibilities to prevent any damage to civilians, the Kurds included while fighting DAESH. "Therefore, we all, first and foremost Mr. President, reacted when the Syrian Kurds were associated with the PKK terrorist organization as well as with its Syrian branch, the YPG/PYD, and when they were used together in the same sentence as if they were the same," he said.

"In the meeting this morning, we highlighted that a clear distinction should be made between them. As I stated in my statement the previous day and Mr. President in his address to the parliamentary group meeting today, the PKK terrorist organization and its Syrian branch, the PYD/YPG, or other similar groups cannot represent our Kurdish brothers and sisters," he underlined.

Underlining that Turkiye has so far taken utmost care to prevent any loss of civilian life and property during Operation Euphrates Shield and Operation Olive Branch and during other anti-terror operations, Kalın stated that it has achieved a very successful track record in this regard.

"Keeping this in mind, I would like to reiterate that we will continue to fight against terrorist organizations and their threats in Syria with determination," he said.

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