Tags: Syria | conflict | US | Russia | diplomacy | Turkey | Sergei Lavrov

Turkey Welcomes Russia-US Syria Truce Plan

Turkey Welcomes Russia-US Syria Truce Plan

(AP)

Saturday, 10 September 2016 11:56 AM

Turkey, which has sent dozens of tanks and hundreds of troops into Syria in an unprecedented incursion, on Saturday welcomed a deal between the United States and Russia for a ceasefire in its conflict-torn neighbor.

"We welcome the agreement," the foreign ministry said in a statement.

Fighting must be halted across Syria and humanitarian aid reach those in need "from the first day" of the ceasefire, it said.

The truce is scheduled to start on the Islamic Eid al-Adha holiday on Monday.

The statement said President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had "closely followed" the process to secure the ceasefire, following talks with Russian and US counterparts Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama on the sidelines of the G20 in China.

It said Turkey was already making preparations for the delivery of humanitarian aid to Syria's northern Aleppo province and would make efforts to "ensure the effective implementation" of the ceasefire.

In a later telephone call, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu also told US counterpart John Kerry, who helped broker the accord, of Ankara's satisfaction over the deal.

"Minister Cavusoglu said Turkey would to everything it can to ensure the ceasefire is applied," the foreign ministry said.

Turkey and Russia have been on opposing sides of the conflict, with Ankara backing the opposition seeking to oust President Bashar al-Assad and Moscow his key international supporter.

But there have been signs of greater harmony between Ankara and Moscow on Syria since a June deal to normalise their own ties following the crisis over the shooting down of a Russian war plane.

Cavusoglu had spoken to Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov late Friday ahead of the announcement of the deal, both sides said.

"They expressed mutual understanding of the importance of all parties concerned complying with the cessation of hostilities and the resumption of the inter-Syrian negotiation process," the Russian foreign ministry said.

The Russia-US agreement came as Turkey presses on with its Operation Euphrates Shield in Syria, aimed at pushing both Islamic State (IS) jihadists and Kurdish militia out of the Syrian border area.

Lavrov said the United States and Russia have agreed to carry out joint air strikes against "terrorists" in Syria if the ceasefire holds for a week.

Washington has applauded Turkey's actions against IS but is wary of its assault on the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) militia, which has been a US ally in the fight against the jihadists.

 

© AFP 2019

   
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Turkey, which has sent dozens of tanks and hundreds of troops into Syria in an unprecedented incursion, on Saturday welcomed a deal between the United States and Russia for a ceasefire in its conflict-torn neighbor.
Syria, conflict, US, Russia, diplomacy, Turkey, Sergei Lavrov, John Kerry, Vladimir Putin, Barack Obama, Bashar al-Assad, Mevlut Cavusoglu, Recep Tayyip Erdogan
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2016-56-10
Saturday, 10 September 2016 11:56 AM
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