Turkey, World, Middle East

Turkey expects Russia to abide by Idlib commitments

Assad regime in Syria indiscriminately killing civilians in Idlib, says Turkish foreign minister

Aysu Biçer   | 22.01.2020
Turkey expects Russia to abide by Idlib commitments Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu makes a speech as he attends a session within the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on January 22, 2020. ( Dursun Aydemir - Anadolu Agency )

DAVOS, Switzerland

Turkish foreign minister on Wednesday said his country expects Russia to comply with commitments of the cease-fire in Syria’s Idlib as the guarantor of the Bashar al-Assad regime. 

Speaking at an open-to press session -- titled Geopolitical Outlook: Middle East and Africa -- held at Davos in Switzerland, Mevlut Cavusoglu said the situation is still critical in Idlib.

"The Assad regime has been increasing its aggression and indiscriminately killing civilians in the region," Cavusoglu said.

During the session moderated by the World Economic Forum's (WEF) President Borge Brende, the top Turkish diplomat reminded that 10 years ago, the main problem in the Middle East was the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Cavusoglu said the issue continues to deepen “because Israel continues its illegal occupation and irreconcilable policies.”

He pointed out that now there have been many crises in the Middle East in addition to the Palestinian issue, emphasizing that the problems in Yemen, Libya, Iraq and nine-year-long Syrian crisis have affected the world.

“Turkey has been playing an active role in resolving the problems in the region," he said, adding that Ankara has been working on the humanitarian dimension of the Syrian crisis and it’s hosting 3.6 million Syrian refugees. 

Assad regime's attacks in Idlib ‘unacceptable’

Speaking about recent Assad regime’s attacks on Idlib de-escalation zone, Cavusoglu said these attacks are “unacceptable”.

To a question about Turkey-Russia relations, he said Turkey does not agree with Russia on everything such as Moscow’s support for Assad regime in Syria or illegal annexation of Crimea.

Despite differences, he said, that two countries are working together to resolve the crises in Syria and Libya and also to prevent humanitarian crisis in Idlib.

The foreign minister said although two countries take different positions in some cases, but it does not impede cooperation between the two countries. “In the same way Turkey holds dialogue with Iran on Syria,” he added.

Cavusoglu said the main problem in Libya is renegade commander Khalifa Haftar, adding that he neither signed a joint statement in Moscow nor showed a clear commitment to the cease-fire at the Berlin Conference.

To a question about Turkey’s presence in Libya, the foreign minister said his country has military advisors and trainers in the conflict-ridden country.

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