Turkey hopes Syria truce will be permanent
ISTANBUL - Agence France-Presse
AFP photoTurkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Sept. 13 said a fragile cease-fire in neighboring Syria was largely holding and expressed hopes that it would become permanent.
The truce brokered by Russia and the United States aimed at bringing an end to fighting between Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces and a wide range of rebels appeared to be holding on its first full day Sept. 13.
In televised comments in Istanbul, Erdoğan said there were problems in two or three villages, and suggested that if everything went well in the first 48 hours, there would be a chance to sustain the truce.
“I hope that the ceasefire will be permanent,” he added.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu hoped all sides would do their share for the cease-fire to be lasting.
“God willing, it will not be one-sided,” he said, quoted by CNN-Turk television.
The initial 48-hour truce entered into force at sundown Sept. 12 across Syria, except in areas held by jihadists like the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
Syria’s armed forces announced a seven-day “freeze” on military operations, lasting to midnight next Sunday.
The agreement has been billed as the best chance yet to halt the bloodshed in Syria’s five-year civil war.