Politics

Turkey is committed to decisions agreed with Russia on Syria: President

Agreements with Russia on eliminating YPG/PKK terror group from region must be fulfilled, says Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Ferdi Turkten   | 30.09.2021
Turkey is committed to decisions agreed with Russia on Syria: President

ANKARA 

Turkey "remains committed" to every decision agreed with Russia on Syria, and there is "no stepping back," said President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The president said that Turkey is working incessantly for the safe return of Syrians to their homes, with over 1 million Syrians having returned so far, including 400,000 to Idlib, an area which fall within a de-escalation zone established by an agreement between Turkey and Russia.

Speaking to reporters traveling with him on the plane Wednesday following the Sochi meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, Erdogan said the agreements with Russia on eliminating YPG/PKK terror group in Syria must be fulfilled.

The Turkish leader emphasized that he raised the issue of YPG/PKK terror group's presence during his meeting with Putin in Moscow, reminding the Russian president that they should strengthen the cooperation in fighting terrorism.

Turkey-US relations

Speaking on Turkey-US ties, Erdogan said that he will meet Joe Biden in Rome, and probably also in Glasgow, and described it as "a good step".

Criticizing Brett McGurk, the White House coordinator for Middle East and North Africa, the Turkish president said he is almost like a "director of the PKK/YPG/PYD".

McGurk served as special envoy for the US-led coalition against Daesh/ISIS for three years and resigned following former US President Donald Trump's decision to pull troops from Syria. He is known for siding with the SDF in Syria to fight Daesh/ISIS and his anti-Turkey discourse.

The SDF brand has been extensively used by the Western governments and media to dissociate the Syrian branch YPG with the PKK, which is recognized as a terror outfit by Turkey, the US and the EU.

McGurk "walks arm in arm with terror groups" in the region where Turkey fights them, Erdogan said.

The US should quit Syria sooner or later and leave it to the Syrian people, he asserted.

S-400 missile system

On the Russian S-400 defense missile system, Erdogan said that the process of acquiring more S-400s is ongoing. He also said the two leaders also discussed the ways to boost the cooperation further.

In April 2017, when its protracted efforts to buy an air defense system from the US proved futile, Turkey signed a contract with Russia to acquire the state-of-art S-400 system.

US officials opposed the move, claiming the S-400s would be incompatible with NATO systems and would expose F-35 jets to possible Russian subterfuge.

In 2019, Washington announced that it was taking Turkey out of the F-35 stealth fighter jet program over Ankara's purchase of the S-400 system.

Turkey, however, stressed that the S-400s would not be integrated into NATO systems and pose no threat to the alliance or its armaments.

Ankara also repeatedly proposed setting up a commission to clarify the issue.

"We talked about steps to be taken regarding warplanes and construction of aircraft engines," Erdogan also said.

He added that he hopes to work together with Russia on shipbuilding, including submarines.

2 more nuclear plants

Erdogan also said that he spoke to Putin about building two more nuclear plants with Russia, besides Akkuyu, and they agreed to work on the issue.

Turkey and Russia signed an agreement in 2010 for the construction of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant in the Mediterranean city of Mersin. Turkey's first nuclear power plant will consist of four reactors with a total installed power of 4,800 megawatts. The first unit of Akkuyu nuclear power plant will be completed by May 2023.

The Turkish leader also said that Putin proposed a joint space research, including rocket launch, by building sea and land platforms.

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