In a meeting at the White House Tuesday, US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Turkish Defense Minister Fikri Işık firmly agreed on concerns regarding the PKK, a U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organization, chief Pentagon spokesperson Dana W. White said.
In a statement summarizing the meeting, White said the PKK has orchestrated the killing of innocent Turkish civilians and Turkish soldiers. Mattis reaffirmed support for Turkey in its fight against the PKK, she added, and its plan to increase cooperation on counter-PKK efforts.
The secretary and minister also discussed the crisis in Syria and agreed to continue cooperate to end the scourge of violence and alleviate human suffering, White said.
“The secretary recognized the generosity of the Turkish government and people in managing the refugee and humanitarian challenges stemming from Syria,” she said. “Both leaders affirmed their support for peace and stability in both Iraq and Syria and look forward to continuing to work together on the U.S.-Turkey security alliance.”