U.S. National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster met with Turkish presidential spokesman in Istanbul to discuss Syria and other bilateral issues, the White House said in a statement.
Mr. McMaster held talks with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan‘s spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin in a bid to defuse tension between two NATO allies after Turkey’s offensive against Kurdish enclave of Afrin in northwestern Syria.
Turkey periodically castigates its ally for its ties to Kurdish militia in Syria. Ankara views both People’s Protection Units (YPG) and YPG-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) as terrorists for the former’s ties to Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
“During their meeting, Kalın and McMaster affirmed the long-term strategic partnership between the United States and Turkey, and discussed the priorities and concerns of both countries,” White House said in a statement.
“They also exchange views on America-Turkish relations as long-standing allies, their common strategic challenges, and regional developments.”
“While discussing these issues, they addressed issues affecting bilateral relations in detail and explored ways to expand the joint fight against all forms of terrorism,” it added.