Turkish diplomat urges Russia to keep Sochi Agreement
ANKARA - Anadolu Agency
Turkey, trying to honor the Sochi agreement with Russia on Idlib, Syria, urges all sides to the conflict to keep their word and work toward stability, said Turkish communications director on Feb. 22 on Twitter.
“President [Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan expressed his concerns about Idlib to President [Vladimir] Putin in a phone call. Russia's support for the Assad regime worsens the already terrible humanitarian situation,” Fahrettin Altun said, adding that Turkey is faced with 1 million refugees along it border with Syria which heightens security risks.
Referring the Sochi Agreement between Turkey and Russia, he urged all sides to keep their word. “We made an agreement with Russia in Sochi and we are trying to honor that agreement. We will not shy away from protecting our own forces against any threats. Nobody should test our resolve,” he said.
He stressed that Turkey no longer has any patience against horrible actions of the Assad regime which caused the loss of innocent lives and destabilizes the region.
“We have been counting on Russian cooperation. We will seek to secure our national security regardless,” he said.
He also called Russia to not allow the regime to make terror groups an excuse for ethnic cleansing.
About recent attacks on Turkish troops, he said: “The coward regime forces continue to attack our brave soldiers who are trying to achieve a cease-fire and establish safety for the Syrian people.
“Those who support this murderous regime that commits crimes against its own people must think again. We will not be deterred,” he stressed.
Syria has been mired in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests.
Since then, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and more than 10 million others displaced, according to UN figures.
In September 2018, Turkey and Russia agreed to turn Idlib into a de-escalation zone in which acts of aggression are expressly prohibited.
The Syrian regime and its allies, however, have consistently broken the terms of the cease-fire, launching frequent attacks inside the territory where acts of aggression are expressly prohibited.