Ankara dissatisfied with state of Syria safe zone: FM Çavuşoğlu
ANKARA- Anadolu Agency
"We are not satisfied with the current state and we have said this to the Americans, clearly," Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu told reporters in New York.
He detailed the safe zone should have an operation center, joint patrols, should clear the area of terrorists and the establishment of facilities for residents. It should also ensure the return of Syrian refugees.
"It will be deceptive to look at the issue just in respect of Syrian refugees. It is an issue of national security for us as the terror groups here pose a threat to Turkey," said Çavuşoğlu, as he warned Turkey may face "bigger threats" if terror groups are not cleared of the region.
Turkey has long championed the idea of terrorist-free safe zones in Syria and stressed ridding the area of the terrorist YPG/PKK, the Syrian branch of the PKK, as well as resettling Syrian migrants currently in Turkey.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has repeatedly said Ankara would carry out its own operation to establish a safe zone in northern Syria should talks fail with the U.S.
Turkish and U.S. military officials agreed Aug. 7 to set up a safe zone in northern Syria and develop a peace corridor to facilitate the movement of displaced Syrians who want to return home.
Turkey’s desire for safe zone justified: Lavrov
Meanwhile, Turkey’s desire to establish a safe zone in northern Syria is justified, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Sept. 27.
“They are suffering from the infiltration of terrorists coming from territory controlled by the U.S. right now,” Lavrov told reporters in New York on the sidelines of the 74th U.N. General Assembly.
Russia is not indifferent to the issue of the safe zone as it is related to the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Syria and they are meeting with both countries, he added.
Lavrov also said Moscow will respond to the U.S. by taking necessary steps due to its preventing some Russian diplomats from attending the U.N. General Assembly.