ADDS DETAILS THROUGHOUT
By Servet Gunerigok
WASHINGTON (AA) - Turkey’s foreign minister voiced displeasure Friday about a planned safe zone in northern Syria.
"We are not satisfied with the current state and we have said this to the Americans, clearly," Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters in New York.
He detailed the safe zone should have an operation center, joint patrols, should clear the area of terrorists and the establishment of facilities for residents. It should also ensure the return of Syrian refugees.
"It will be deceptive to look at the issue just in respect of Syrian refugees. It is an issue of national security for us as the terror groups here pose a threat to Turkey," said Cavusoglu, as he warned Turkey may face "bigger threats" if terror groups are not cleared of the region.
Turkey has long championed the idea of terrorist-free safe zones in Syria and stressed ridding the area of the terrorist YPG/PKK, the Syrian branch of the PKK, as well as resettling Syrian migrants currently in Turkey.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has repeatedly said Ankara would carry out its own operation to establish a safe zone in northern Syria should talks fail with the U.S.
Turkish and U.S. military officials agreed Aug. 7 to set up a safe zone in northern Syria and develop a peace corridor to facilitate the movement of displaced Syrians who want to return home.
*Betul Yuruk in New York contributed to the story