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McCain: US must work with Turkey on Syria

Image of US Senator John McCain on 17 February 2017 [Andreas Gebert/Anadolu Agency]
Image of US Senator John McCain on 17 February 2017 [Andreas Gebert/Anadolu Agency]

Chairman of the US Senate Armed Services Committee, John McCain, has called for the formation of a US-Turkish partnership to solve the Syrian crisis.

“The United States must work with Turkey to deal a rapid and lasting defeat to ISIL [Daesh] as part of a broader strategy to strengthen US allies and partners, counter the malign influence of our adversaries, and build a favourable balance of power in the region,” McCain said in a statement after a meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara late on Monday.

Read: US freezes military aid to Syrian opposition

Turkey’s Hurriyet newspaper reported McCain saying yesterday that the US-Turkish alliance is more important than ever, stressing the need to help the new American administration to “review and re-evaluate” its current policy in Syria.

He said Erdogan “described a proposal to establish safe zones in Syria and retake Raqqa that should receive serious consideration by the United States.”

Read: Turkey: Send US Special Forces to northern Syria

He noted that he was looking forward to working with US and Turkish partners on this subject and other ideas to improve the situation in Syria.

Ankara has long criticised some of the previous US administration’s policies towards the Syrian crisis and expressed regret that its calls for the international community to establish safe zones in Syria did not receive any attention.

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