Türkiye aims to end civil war in Syria: FM

Türkiye aims to end civil war in Syria: FM

Türkiye aims to end civil war in Syria: FM

Türkiye aims to end the ongoing civil war in Syria through U.N.-led talks to change the Syrian constitution, the Turkish Foreign Minister has said, amid Ankara’s willingness to reconcile with the Assad regime.

“Our objective is to end the civil war in Syria. We are running the process with the [Syrian] opposition. Along with the government, the opposition is also taking part in the Astana process,” Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu told reporters on Nov. 28.

“We aim to revive the political process, including the talks for the new constitution. It is a part of our engagement [with Syria]. Progress is needed on the initiative by the Constitutional Committee but that did not happen,” he stated.

Çavuşoğlu referred to the U.N.-led talks under resolution 2254 of the U.N. Security Council that stipulates rewriting of the Syrian constitution by the opposition and the government and holding elections afterward. The Assad regime has long stalled the process.

On the talks with Egypt, Çavuşoğlu said Ankara and Cairo may hold the third round of technical talks before meeting at the ministers’ level. “We can exchange ambassadors in the coming months,” he stated.

Çavuşoğlu replied to the questions on the accession process of Sweden and Finland to NATO. Informing that he will hold a three-way meeting with his Swedish and Finnish counterparts on the sidelines of the NATO meeting in Bucharest on Nov. 29 and 30, Çavuşoğlu admitted that these two NATO aspirant states did take some positive steps to fulfill Türkiye’s demands.

“They have addressed some of the provisions in the trilateral protocol but there are others they have not fulfilled yet. That means they still have to take some concrete moves. They did not meet our demands on the extradition [of terrorists] and on legal arrangments,” Çavuşoğlu said.

He referred to a memorandum of understanding Türkiye, Sweden and Finland signed in late June that detailed the steps the two Nordic states should take to get Ankara’s consent for NATO membership.

“Our parliament and our citizens should be convinced. Our president did convey this message to the Swedish prime minister. In sum, the process is running positively but there are still steps to be taken,” he added.