Türkiye calls on Russia to push YPG off its borders

Türkiye calls on Russia to push YPG off its borders

Türkiye calls on Russia to push YPG off its borders

Türkiye has reiterated its demand from Russia to push the YPG terrorist organization 30 kilometers away from its borders in line with a 2019-dated bilateral agreement amid its vows to launch a new cross-border offensive against the terrorist presence.

The message was conveyed by both President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to Russian President Vladimir Putin over the phone and Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Önal to Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin during his two-day-long political consultations over the weekend.

According to a written statement by the presidency, Erdoğan drew attention to the fact that the PKK/YPG’s terrorist attacks against Türkiye continue and underlined the importance of clearing these terrorists up to 30 kilometers from the Turkish border in line with the Sochi protocol of 2019.

The agreement in 2019 obliges Russia to push the YPG terrorists off 30 kilometers from the Turkish border, particularly those in Tal Rifat and Manbij areas. The agreement has not yet been fulfilled by Russia.

Türkiye says it is preparing for a cross-border operation into northern Syria to eliminate the terrorist threat against its citizens and borders. It blamed the YPG for a deadly terror attack in Istanbul in mid-November that killed six civilians. The Turkish Air Forces later launched a massive aerial operation against the YPG/PKK positions in northern Iraq and northern Syria.

Russia has announced its opposition to a new Turkish military incursion.

The same message was given by Önal to Vershinin, a statement by the Turkish Foreign Ministry said.

“The Turkish side reiterated its resolve to fight the PKK/YPG/PYD terrorist organization, which poses an existential threat not only to the territorial integrity of Syria but also to the national security of Türkiye. In this vein, Türkiye’s demand to uphold the memorandum of understanding signed with the Russian Federation in October 2019 was reiterated,” read the statement.

Erdoğan, Putin discuss grain deal

Erdoğan explained that more than 13 million tons of grain have been exported to the needy countries since the agreement between Türkiye, Russia, Ukraine and the U.N. reached in July in Istanbul.

He stressed different food products and other products can also be exported through the grain corridor in the coming period. He repeated Türkiye’s genuine wishes for the cessation of violence between Ukraine and Russia.

Russia wants full implementation

The issue was on the agenda of Turkish-Russian political consultations as well. Turkish Foreign Ministry informed that the sides exchanged views on the implementation of the Istanbul Grain Agreement. “The importance of the continuation of the agreement that ensured shipment of more than 13 million tons of grain to the world markets through the Black Sea and facilitation of the export of Russian grain and fertilizer were emphasized,” the statement read.

The Turkish side highlighted the need to end the war in Ukraine as soon as possible, underlined the importance of resuming negotiations for a just and sustainable solution, and to this end reiterated its readiness to offer all manner of support to the sides.

A statement by the Russian Foreign Ministry informed that Vershinin visited the Joint Coordination Center (JCC), which provides practical work on the implementation of the “Black Sea Initiative” for the export of Ukrainian food by sea.

Vershinin also discussed the grain deal with the U.N. officials, as Russia could not yet start the export of its food and fertilizers due to shipment, payment and insurance problems. The Russian side emphasized the importance of strict adherence to the agreed rules for the operation of the Istanbul Initiative.

Libya, Ukraine, Syria constitutional process discussed

The political consultations cover other regional and international issues as well. In addition to bilateral relations, the statement said the two delegations discussed the U.N. Reform agenda, the situation in Ukraine, Syria and the U.N. mechanism on cross-border humanitarian aid, Libya, the Middle East, and the eastern Mediterranean.

Territorial integrity of Syria

At the meeting, the importance of maintaining the territorial integrity and political unity of Syria was emphasized, and the need for a political solution based on the Road Map within U.N. Security Council Resolution 2254 was stressed, according to Ankara.

“The vital role of the extension of the U.N.’s cross-border aid mechanism for Syria to deliver urgent humanitarian aid to more than 4 million people in need was reaffirmed. Benefits of the ongoing implementation of the crossline assistance were also recognized,” it added.

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