Russia to facilitate dialogue between Turkey, Syria



(Xinhua/NAN) Russia, on Wednesday expressed its readiness to facilitate the establishment of practical cooperation between Damascus and Ankara on the basis of the 1998 Adana Agreement.

The Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, disclosed this to newsmen at an international meeting on security issues in the Black Sea resort of Sochi in Moscow.

“The militaries of the two countries should determine the specific parametres of such cooperation in practice and on terrain.

“We are ready to assist in such a dialogue,“ Lavrov said.

In 1998, Turkey and Syria signed an agreement in the Southern Turkish city of Adana, in which Syria stopped supporting the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), considered as a terrorist party by Ankara.

The agreement also led to the expulsion of its leader Abdullah Ocalan, which paved way for his capture by Turkey in 1999.

On Oct. 9, Turkey started a military offensive tagged “Operation Peace Spring“ in the Eastern Euphrates River in Northern Syria to secure its borders by eliminating terrorist elements and ensuring safe return of Syrian refugees and its territorial integrity.

Ankara wants to clear east of the Euphrates River in Northern Syria of the People’s Protection Units (YPG), which it sees as Syrian affiliate of outlawed PKK, listed as a terrorist organisation even the U.S. and EU.

Lavrov, however, said that Russia had always recognised the legitimate interests of Turkey in ensuring the security of its borders.

He added that Moscow was in favour of the current situation being resolved through dialogue between the Syrian Government and the Kurdish structures.

“Such a dialogue has begun and it is yielding concrete results,“he said.

Earlier, the Kurdish Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria said that it had reached an agreement with the Syrian Government on the deployment of Syrian troops along the Syrian-Turkish border.

This, it said, was to aid the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces in facing the Turkish offensive and recapturing areas that had fallen to the Turkish forces.

Lavrov said Russian President, Vladimir Putin, and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Erdogan, were planning to meet later in October.

“They will discuss the situation in Syria, as well as the tasks of ensuring its sovereignty and territorial integrity in an uncompromising struggle with the remnants of terrorist groups.

“As well as simultaneously promoting the political process in the form of organising the first inaugural meeting of the constitutional committee,“Lavrov said.(Xinhua/NAN)


Edited by Yahaya Isah/Ali Baba-Inuwa

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