Russia recognizes Turkey’s legitimate security concerns


Russia recognizes Turkey’s legitimate interests to ensure its border security, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Wednesday.

“We have always said that we recognize legitimate interests of Turkey in ensuring security of its border,” Lavrov told a meeting of heads of intelligence services in Sochi, a Russian coastal city.

The minister said Russia advocates the establishment of a “practical cooperation” between Damascus and Ankara on the basis of the 1998 Adana Agreement, which allows Turkish forces to conduct military operations in Syria.

“Practically the military of the two countries must determine concrete parameters of such a cooperation. We are ready to assist such a dialogue,” he said.

Lavrov confirmed talks between the Syrian government and the terrorist group YPG/PKK have started. Russia will encourage the success and implementation of agreements between the two parties.

Turkey launched Operation Peace Spring on Oct. 9 to eliminate terrorists from northern Syria in order to secure Turkey’s borders, aid in the safe return of Syrian refugees, and ensure Syria’s territorial integrity.

Ankara wants to clear northern Syria east of the Euphrates River of the terrorist PKK and its Syrian offshoot, the PYD/YPG.

Turkey has said the PKK and the YPG/PYD constitute the biggest threats to Syria’s future, jeopardizing the country’s territorial integrity and unitary structure.
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