TEHRAN (Press Shia) – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday that he viewed a planned 20-mile (32 km) safe zone in Syria positively and added that its range may be extended further.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Tuesday he had discussed a safe zone which Turkey would set up inside Syria along the length of their border, during a phone call with US President Donald Trump which he described as positive.
Trump, who announced he was pulling US troops out of Syria last month, suggested in a tweet Sunday creating a safe zone, without elaborating.
"The safe zone issue, including a safe zone along Turkey's borders that will be formed by us – an issue that I have brought up since the Obama era – was reiterated by him as 20 miles," Erdogan told members of his AK Party in Parliament, Reuters reported.
He later told reporters that the zone could be extended beyond 20 miles, but did not say by how far.
The call Monday came after Trump threatened Turkey with economic devastation if Turkish forces attacked the YPG militia.
Erdogan said he was saddened by Trump's tweet but that the phone call later in the day was positive.
Trump's threat to devastate Turkey's economy also sparked concern among investors, sending the lira down as much as 1.6 percent Monday. Erdogan said he and Trump had agreed to improve economic ties during their phone call.
"Turkey will continue to do what it has to in order to solve this issue in line with the spirit of its alliance, so long as our rights and laws are respected," he said. "We reached a historic understanding with Trump last night."
Speaking to reporters in Parliament, Erdogan also said he would most likely meet Russian President Vladimir Putin on Jan. 23.