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Pompeo 'optimistic' Syria Kurds, Turkey can be protected

AFP  |  Abu Dhabi 

Washington's top said Saturday he was "optimistic" a way could be found to protect Syrian while allowing Turks to "defend their country from terrorists" despite a US pullout from

"We are confident we can achieve an outcome that achieves both of those," told journalists in

The Gulf emirate is his latest stop in a regional tour aimed at reassuring allies after a shock December announcement by that US troops would be withdrawn from

Pompeo's remarks follow tensions between the US and over the fate of Washington's Syrian Kurdish allies in the fight against Islamic State jihadists.

had reacted angrily to suggestions that Trump's plan to withdraw troops was conditional on the safety of the US-backed Kurdish fighters, seen by the as terrorists.

US-led operations against IS in have been spearheaded on the ground by the Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces.

sees the backbone of that alliance, the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), as a terrorist group linked to the (PKK) which has fought a decades-long insurgency against the Turkish state.

Pompeo said Friday that recognised "the Turkish people's right and (Turkish Recep Tayyip) Erdogan's right to defend their country from terrorists".

But, he added, "we also know that those are fighting alongside of us for all this time deserve to be protected as well." Pompeo said he had spoken to Turkey's

"Many details (are) still to be worked out but I'm optimistic that we can achieve a good outcome," he said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, January 12 2019. 20:10 IST