Turkey ready to cooperate with Russia on Syrian cease-fire, aid: Turkish FM
Sevil Erkuş - ANKARA
Turkey is “more than ready” to cooperate with Russia on a new Syrian cease-fire and the delivery of humanitarian assistance if Moscow is willing to do so, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said Sept. 29.
“In talks with our Iranian counterpart, Mr. [Javad] Zarif, yesterday, we discussed how we can maintain the cease-fire and deliver humanitarian aid. After the normalization of our relations, we are discussing the same issues with our ally Russia,” he said.
Çavuşoğlu made the comments to reporters during a joint press conference with Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics.
Diplomatic sources speaking on condition of anonymity said that during Çavuşoğlu’s meeting with Zarif on Sept. 28, the two foreign ministers discussed ways to pave the way for a new cease-fire and the delivery of humanitarian aid in the two countries’ spheres of influence in Syria.
“We have to try harder for a cease-fire and political resolution. If Russia is prepared to cooperate with us on the cease-fire and humanitarian aid, we are more than ready,” Çavuşoğlu added.
He recalled that Turkey had always supported and facilitated decisions for a cease-fire and delivery of aid, adding that those decisions were violated by “the regime and its supporters.”
On the Russian side, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Sept. 29 that Russia’s cooperation with Turkey on Syria was increasingly constructive amid possible joint action in the future.
“Now, after nearly a year has passed since the cooling of relations, there is a tendency that cooperation with Turkey on the Syrian track will be constructive. And the concern that we have, as well as issues on which we are far from agreement, we are discussing constructively,” Zakharova said in an interview with the Russia-Grece2016.ru website, according to Russia’s Sputniknews website.
Çavuşoğlu also said an extension of the state of emergency declared following the July 15 failed coup attempt, which was blamed on the Gülenist organization, was required due to the “complexity” in their methods and the “support they have received.” The minister said the group’s “different links with new dimensions had come out of the investigation” into the group.
Ümit Yalçın named FM undersecretary
Meanwhile, Deputy Undersecretary Ümit Yalçın will be named the Foreign Ministry’s new undersecretary, Çavuşoğlu said.
Turkey and Israel will also mutually seek to exchange ambassadors in the near future, the minister said.
The appointment was verbally notified to the ambassadors by Çavuşoğlu, but the official process will follow after being published in the Official Gazette.
Yalçın was responsible for Middle East affairs, including the Syrian crisis. He has previously served in the Rotterdam consulate and the Turkish Embassy to Moscow before being appointed as Turkey’s ambassador to Kuwait in 2012.
After serving as undersecretary since August 2009, current Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioğlu was appointed as the permanent representative of Turkey to the United States.