PM Yıldırım: Truce a base for lasting peace in Syria
Hande Fırat - ANKARA
DHA photoTurkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım has described the truce reached between the Syrian regime and the opposition groups as a “base for negotiations on a lasting peace” in the war-torn country, reiterating Ankara’s call for other prominent actors to join the Turkish-Russian efforts.
“The next step will be political talks. The parties will sit around the same table and will agree on Syria’s unity and togetherness. This truce stands as the base of this. The most important outcome of this truce is that it provided this base for peace talks,” Yıldırım told daily Hürriyet on Dec 30.
“There is now a base to talk about the future. Turkey has made a great contribution to it,” he added.
Ankara and Moscow brokered a nationwide ceasefire starting from Dec. 30 in Syria after lengthy diplomatic efforts, as two guarantor countries of the agreement between two fighting groups. The two parties have also agreed to meet in Astana and discuss a road map for a political transition in the country.
“Our objective is to prevent the death of even one innocent person. Even this alone is very important. This is a beginning. But its advanced stages are more important,” Yıldırım stated, adding that the process should not be left to the leadership of only Turkey and Russia.
“Iran is also in this loop, but we want all actors - the United States, coalition forces and all other regional countries - to be more active. The U.N. is also important,” he said.
Prime Minister Yıldırım also hailed the role played by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in brokering the truce agreement, saying the president had “very active telephone diplomacy” with his interlocutors.
Call to Trump administration
Yıldırım also touched on the role in Syria of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its armed wing, the People’s Protection Units (YPG), deemed to be offshoots of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
“DAESH [an Arabic acronym of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant] and al-Nusra are excluded from this agreement. And Turkey’s struggle against the PYD will also continue,” he said.
“The YPG, the PYD and the PKK are all intertwined. The YPG is causing trouble in Syria and is providing support to the PKK in Turkey. The PYD-YPG is a terror organization for us. We know our American friends will understand this,” Yıldırım added.
“We hope the new U.S. administration assesses this issue closely with Turkey and will make its policy [on this issue] within the framework of our sensitivities,” he said.
President-elect Donald Trump will take over the U.S. presidency from Barack Obama on Jan. 20.