Turkey aims to prevent conflict in Syria's Idlib: FM Çavuşoğlu
TURKEY 08 october 2017
Turkey aims to prevent conflict in Syria's northwestern Idlib, said Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu late on Oct. 7.
“The matter on Idlib is we have arrived at an agreement in Astana because we want to prevent conflict in these areas through a de-conflict zone,” Çavuşoğlu said, speaking to reporters in the western province of Afyonkarahisar.
The foreign minister said Astana is a platform for increasing confidence building measures and ending conflict.
“But our aim now is to revive the Geneva process,” he added.
Turkish military deployed fully-equipped commando units on Oct. 7 as part of its reinforcements for Syria's western Idlib province along the Turkish-Syrian border.
Elements of the Turkish Armed Forces, also known as the TSK, will be positioned within the borders of the tension reduction zone determined for Idlib.
During a meeting in the Kazakh capital Astana on May 4, the guarantor countries—Russia, Turkey and Iran—signed a deal to establish de-escalation zones in Syria.
The three guarantor states, as well as representatives of the Damascus-based Assad regime and some opposition factions, met in Astana in September for a sixth round of talks aimed at ending the six-year conflict.
A December cease-fire in Syria brokered by the three countries led to the Astana talks, held in parallel to the U.N.-backed discussions in Geneva to find a political solution to the conflict.
Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since 2011, when the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity.
Since then, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed in the conflict, according to the U.N.
Çavuşoğlu said he discussed northern Iraq, Syria, Idlib and consulate issues on the phone on Oct. 7 with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
“I speak with Rex Tillerson once every 10 days. We maintain a good dialogue,” he said.
He added he also spoke with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif on Oct. 7.
Source: Hurriyet Daily News