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Erdogan: US troop Syria pullout must be done with right partners

Turkish leader calls for carefully-planned exit, argues only Ankara can provide leadership to create regional stability.

Erdogan: US troop Syria pullout must be done with right partners
Erdogan warned the international community to avoid making the same mistakes in Syria as in Iraq [File: Burhan Ozbilici/AP]

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has praised Donald Trump's decision last month to pull the US troops out of Syria but said the withdrawal must be done carefully and with the "right partners".
In an op-ed article for the New York Times on Monday, a day before a scheduled meeting between Turkish officials and US NSA John Bolton, Erdogan expressed Turkey's commitment to defeating the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL,  also known as ISIS) group and "other terrorist groups" in Syria.
"President Trump made the right call to withdraw from Syria. The United States withdrawal, however, must be planned carefully and performed in cooperation with the right partners to protect the interests of the United States, the international community and the Syrian people," Erdogan wrote.
"Turkey, which has NATO's second largest standing army, is the only country with the power and commitment to perform that task."
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