Turkey hails FSA-PYD deal in north Syria

Turkey hails FSA-PYD deal in north Syria

Turkey hails FSA-PYD deal in north Syria

Spokesman Gümrükçü welcomed the deal between rebels and PYD. AA photo

The Turkish Foreign Ministry implicitly welcomed a ceasefire deal between the Syrian opposition and Kurdish militia following weeks of clashes in the Ras al-Ain town of northern Syria.

“We’ll welcome any development that would prevent sectarian or ethnical clashes [in Syria],” Levent Gümrükçü, spokesperson for the Turkish Foreign Ministry said yesterday at a press conference.

However, he stressed Turkey’s reservation on the Democratic Union Party (PYD), a political offshoot of the outlawed Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK) in Syria. Turkey’s position on the PYD has not changed, Gümrükçü said.

A deal was struck earlier this week following weeks of clashes between the Peoples’ Defense Unit (YPG), a PYD militia, and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) in the Syrian town of Ras al-Ain.

Aid pledge ‘unfulfilled’

Elaborating on the Syrian opposition’s proposal to have dialogue with the regime for a transition process, Gümrükçü cited that the Syrian opposition had demanded a transition process in which Syrian President al-Assad would not take part. “We see that their attitude has no difference from ours,” Gümrükçü said. Meanwhile, the spokesperson accused the international community of failing to honor financial pledges made last month to help Syrian refugees who have fled their war-ravaged country.

International donors at a Kuwait conference on Jan. 30 pledged almost $1 billion in aid to countries hosting stricken Syrians.

Turkey alone has spent more than $600 million thus far and has received only around $90 million from the international community, said the spokesman. Asked about media reports alleging Turkey would ask Britain for the extradition of Cypriot businessmen Asil Nadir, Gümrükçü said the British Justice Ministry would first have to agree to it, and then the Turkish and British authorities can form a cooperation under the framework of a mutual legal assistance agreement.