February 15, 2018 / 11:30 AM / 3 months ago

U.S. defence chief says talks with Turkey on Syria 'open and honest'

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Thursday that the United States and Turkey, NATO allies, would press on with their collaboration over Syria despite their areas of difference.

U.S. Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis addresses a news conference during a NATO defence ministers meeting at the Alliance headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, February 15, 2018. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

“I believe we are finding common ground and there are areas of uncommon ground, where sometimes war just gives you bad alternatives to choose from,” Mattis told reporters on the sidelines of a NATO meeting. He met his Turkish counterpart on Wednesday.

“But throughout this, the one that has marked our communication is absolute honesty and transparency with one another... We continue to collaborate on ways to ensure their legitimate concerns are addressed,” Mattis added.

Reporting by Idrees Ali and Robin Emmott; Editing by Gareth Jones

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