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While the secretary challenged Middle Eastern countries to take on new responsibilities in the fight against extremism, he failed to call out human rights abuses in places like Egypt and Saudi Arabia and did not mention the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
"We always do and now is the time".
Speaking from Ramallah earlier this week, a PA source said that nothing had changed on this matter.
In a call, Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron spoke of "the commitment of the United States and France to the destruction of Isis as well as plans for a strong, deliberate, and coordinated withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria", the White House said.
Furthermore on 6 January, National Security Adviser John Bolton announced that, besides the Islamic State's defeat, the withdrawal would also be conditional on Turkey's assurances that it will not attack the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), of which the YPG forms the Kurdish core component.
Joseph Dunford met in Ankara Monday and Tuesday with his Turkish counterpart, Gen. Yasar Guler, and Defense Minister Hulusi Akar on the planned USA ground troop withdrawal from Syria, according to a readout of the meeting from the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Doubtless, despite the United States administration's flip-flopping and lack of a cohesive and realistic vision for Washington's Middle East foreign policy, Turkey will use Bolton's visit to Ankara as an opportunity to stress Turkey's major concerns.
"What did we learn from all this?" "We learned that when America retreats, chaos often follows", he said. When we neglect our friends, resentment builds. The demand, which Bolton said came from Trump, immediately drew criticism from Turkish officials.Bolton concluded his visit to Turkey with more than two hours of discussions with officials Tuesday, but without meeting Erdogan.National Security Council spokesman Garrett Marquis said Erdogan called Bolton's Turkish counterpart, Ibrahim Kalın, during their meeting and told him to send his regards to Bolton.
"The good news is this: The age of self-inflicted American shame is over, and so are the policies that produced so much needless suffering", he said. "Now comes the real new beginning".
"The message that Bolton gave in Israel is unacceptable; it is not possible for us to swallow", Erdogan said during a televised address to legislators in his political party.
The announcement led to the resignation of former United States defence chief Jim Mattis, and it has highlighted the shaky and often contradictory messages coming from senior officials within the Trump administration - including the president himself, who has waffled when pressed to provide a timeframe for the withdrawal of about 2,000 U.S. troops. Trump, defending his decision, emphasized the need for other countries to take on the battle against IS in Syria and espoused Turkey's subsequent offer to fill America's shoes.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who is on a regional tour, also said Wednesday that Turkey had committed to protecting Washington's Kurdish allies fighting the Islamic State in Syria.
Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif responded on Twitter, saying, "Whenever/wherever United States interferes, chaos, repression and resentment follow". A previous version of this story, "Dunford Refuses to Pull Back US Observation Posts in Syria", inadvertently used language from a readout of a December 13 phone call between Dunford and Gen. Yasar Guler, in which Dunford said the USA would continue to use forward observation posts in Syria. "Best for the USA to just get over loss of Iran". He did thank the Egyptian president, Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, for a recent court decision to acquit U.S. citizens who had been convicted of improperly operating NGOs. He said their meeting was "productive". In the Syrian case the US military presence also furnishes propaganda points for the Assad regime, which did not invite the Americans, and for Iran and Russian Federation, both of which it did invite.