Syria needs ‘permanent solutions’
WASHINGTON - Hürriyet Daily News
‘We are on the same page with the US,’ says Tan referring to Syria. AA photoThe Syrian crisis cannot be solved with simple quarantine methods, Turkish Ambassador to Washington Namık Tan has said, reiterating that Turkey and the United States are on the same page concerning the crisis.
“It is obvious that the Syrian crisis can’t be quarantined by palliative treatments,” said Tan.
“We are on the same page with the U.S. on the cause of the Syrian crisis’ origin and the parameters of the solution,” he said. “Turkey’s expectations from the U.S. are similar to our expectations from the international community. We want to see an immediate end to the problem bordering Turkey before a spillover.”
Commenting on the Syrian opposition’s fractured structure, Tan echoed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s words in which she criticized the opposition Syrian National Council for not representing all Syrian opposition groups as an umbrella organization.
“It is true that it has not been possible to achieve a complete reconciliation between the opposition groups in Syria since the beginning of the crisis,” said Tan. “But while criticizing the opposition in this manner, it also needs to take into account the background of the opposition movement. The fact that the political opposition in Syria has been prohibited for 40 years must not be forgotten. A trust problem among the opposition groups suffering from a lack of communication between each other is normal.”
Touching on the possible deployment of NATO’s Patriot missile along the Turkish-Syrian border, Tan said: “We informed NATO a couple of times about the region and Syria. The contingency plans have been prepared by NATO to protect the borders of NATO. It is an ongoing process. So it is not a new development. And it is not possible to give the details about these plans until the work is done.”
On Iran, the second big challenge facing bilateral relations between Turkey and the U.S., Tan seems critical of the sanctions pursued by the Barack Obama administration and its effects on Turkish companies.
“The sanctions targeting the energy and finance sector of Iran seem to be affecting the Iranian economy,” Tan said. “But both the negative effects of the sanctions on the Iranian people and its likely contribution to the solution of the nuclear problem have now been questioned. We have concerns about the unilateral sanctions which have effects on our companies that cannot be ignored.”
Turkey’s position on the matter is clear, he said. “We will contribute to the efforts for a diplomatic solution and continue to play a facilitative role. This is both our interest and our responsibility.”
Discussing the Turkish demand for the procurement of armed Unmanned Aerial Vehicle’s (UAV) for use against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Tan said: “We welcome the strong support of the U.S. in our struggle against the PKK, a terrorist organization. On the other hand, we expect the continuation of increasing U.S assistance against our ‘common enemy,’ the PKK. We hope our demand concerning the procurement of armed UAVs will be met soon.”
The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union.