"Turkey has long advocated creating a safe zone in the border region," the diplomat said, referring to the area where Ankara has conducted its Operation Euphrates Shield. "However, if Trump announces that he wants to create a safe zone in the entire northern Syria, Turkey will face major problems."
Washington has relied extensively on the Kurds in its anti-Daesh efforts, much to Turkey's discontent.
Although Ankara has been viewed as one of Washington's key allies in the Middle East, both countries have not discussed safe zones since the Trump administration came to power.
"The majority of Syrian refugees are in Turkey. They have also settled in Jordan and Iraq. Clearly the stance of these countries on safe zones in Syria matters, but Turkey's take on the issue is of key importance. However, we have not seen Turkey and the [Trump administration] discuss this issue. Turkey's Foreign Ministry issued a statement calling for a thorough and comprehensive review of this issue and its potential implications. This was a right step, but it has shown that Ankara and Washington have not conducted official direct talks on Trump's initiative," the diplomat observed.
US President Donald Trump reaffirmed that his administration was in favor of creating safe zones in Syria last week.
The diplomat also warned that Trump's plan could affect the Geneva peace process. This initiative could to a certain extent "embolden" the opposition, offering an opportunity to delay the talks. Should this happen, "all achievement reached at the Astana talks could be brought to nothing," he said.
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