Tillerson, Shoukry discuss north Syria situation in phone call

Ahram Online , Thursday 25 Jan 2018

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry during a meeting at the State Department in February 2017 (Photo: Reuters)

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson spoke with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry by phone on Wednesday about the Syrian conflict, and in particular, how to bring stability to the country’s north, Egypt's foreign ministry said.

During the talks, Shoukry discussed Turkey's military operation in northern Syria, highlighting the importance of "respecting Syria's sovereignty" and of not causing more killing and destruction for the Syrian people.

Turkey shelled targets used by militants in Syria's northern Afrin region on Monday and said it would wipe out the US-backed Kurdish YPG fighters who control the area.

"The continuation of such operations pose a serious threat to the prospects for a political solution to the crisis and undermine counter-terrorism efforts in Syria," Shoukry was quoted as telling Tillerson.

Tillerson said Washington would continue coordination and consultation with Egypt in order to reach a political solution to the Syrian crisis and end the suffering of the Syrian people, the Egyptian ministry said.

The duo also discussed means to boost bilateral strategic ties between Cairo and Washington, days after US Vice President Mike Pence met with President El-Sisi in Cairo, as part of a three-nation Middle East tour that included stops in Jordan and Israel.

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