Turkey wants to control safe zone in northern Syria: AKP spokesperson
ANKARA- Anadolu Agency
Turkey would like to establish the safe zone in northern Syria together with its allies, and under its control but it would not step back if there is a stalling threatening its security, according to the ruling Justice and Development AKP spokesperson on Sept. 2.
“Turkey, of course, wants to establish the safe zone in coordination with the allies, under Turkey's control,” Ömer Çelik told reporters while AKP's Central Executive Committee meeting was ongoing at party headquarters.
“But if the stalling processes we experienced in the past would repeat in this matter, it is clearly told that Turkey is making necessary preparations in terms of its security needs,” Çelik added.
He noted that the PYD-YPG terrorists needed to be eliminated from the region so that Syrians who fled their country could return home.
Çelik said if the process goes as desired and under Turkey's control, it would show that, as the allies, we have achieved a positive thing regarding Syria's unity.
Turkish and U.S. military officials reached an agreement on Aug. 7 that the safe zone in northern Syria will serve as a "peace corridor" for displaced Syrians longing to return home and a Joint Operations Center in Turkey will be set up to coordinate its establishment.
On Aug. 31, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said in Istanbul that Turkey will apply its own plan of action if Turkish soldiers are not allowed to control the safe zone in Syria.
In three weeks, on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly session, Turkey will use the last possibility to find a compromise with the U.S. on building a safe zone along eastern Euphrates line, he said.
PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S., and the EU. YPG is the PKK's Syrian branch.
Russia follows US-Turkey safe-zone talks in Syria
Meanwhile, Moscow closely follows the talks between the U.S. and Turkey for providing security on the Turkish-Iraqi border, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Sept. 2.
Russia "always supports" agreements that help to reduce the armed confrontation, alleviate the suffering of the civilians, create conditions for the solution of humanitarian issues and for the promotion of a political settlement, said Lavrov at a news conference in Moscow, after meeting with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif.
"President Erdoğan, who was in Russia last week for talks with President Putin, informed in detail about the course of these negotiations, and the issues that are not yet amenable to solution," Lavrov said.
Moscow understands Turkey's concerns regarding securing its borders and the necessity to find a solution that will not turn the Kurdish issue into another serious regional problem, he said. But such a solution must respect Syria's sovereignty and territorial integrity as well as the rights of the Arab tribes, traditionally living around the Euphrates, Lavrov added.
His Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif said: "Any U.S. presence in the eastern Euphrates is illegitimate and destructive", and added that it only leads to strengthening the confrontation between the local nations.