Turkey’s Kalın, U.S. National Security Adviser Bolton discuss safe zone

Turkish Presidential Spokesperson Ibrahim Kalın and his U.S. counterpart National Security Adviser John Bolton discussed an array of issues, including the proposed safe zone in northern Syria in a phone call on Wednesday, state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

Kalın told Bolton that the Turkish side had completed preparations for the realization of the Turkish-U.S. joint operation plan without delay, Anadolu said. 

The phone call between the pair arrives a day after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said plans for the safe zone to be established along the Turkish border in Syrian territory were not progressing despite the agreement reached with the United States.

Ankara and Washington last month agreed to set up a safe zone to manage tensions between Turkey and U.S.-backed Kurdish-led forces in the region. However, the details of the plan, including the size of the "safe zone" and how it will be managed or divided, remain unclear.

Erdoğan has threatened to launch a military operation if the zone is not established while slamming international powers over their inaction on the establishment of said zone in neighbouring Syria.

Turkey has long called for a safe zone to ensure security on its border running east of the Euphrates River toward the Iraqi border. Ankara wants to control the zone and clear Kurdish militia, namely the People’s Protection Units (YPG), from the border area.