Turkish top officials on Tuesday hailed Turkey’s “historic” deal with Russia on Syria.
The deal came during President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s one-day working visit to Russia’s coastal city of Sochi, where he met with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to discuss Syria and Turkey’s anti-terror operation in northern Syria.
During the meeting, Turkey and Russia reached a 10-point agreement.
Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu shared the details of agreement on Twitter.
According to the deal, Ankara and Moscow agreed on preservation of Syria’s territorial integrity and political unity. The two sides also agreed that all YPG/PKK terrorists will be removed from Syria’s Tal Rifat and Manbij.
“#StrongTurkey under the leadership of President @RTErdogan,” Cavusoglu wrote on Twitter.
Thanks to the strong leadership of Erdogan, a “historic” diplomatic success has been achieved, Turkey’s Communications Director Fahrettin Altun said in a Twitter post.
Altun said that Turkey will continue to fight against terrorism with the cooperation of friendly and allied nations, adding: “This is a great day for civilized nations fighting against terrorist groups”.
“Today’s agreement between Turkey and Russia marks the beginning of a new era in our bilateral relations,” he said, adding: “Syria’s territorial integrity and political unity are key to a stable future in the region.
“Today’s agreement with Russia is independent of the Turkey-US deal, under which all PKK/YPG terrorists are required to leave the safe zone,” he added.
On Oct. 9, Turkey launched Operation Peace Spring to eliminate terrorists from northern Syria east of the Euphrates River in order to secure Turkey’s borders, aid in the safe return of Syrian refugees, and ensure Syria’s territorial integrity.
On Oct. 17, a U.S. delegation headed by Vice President Mike Pence paid a working visit to the capital Ankara, where they met Erdogan and discussed Turkey’s anti-terror operation.
Following the meeting, the two sides reached a 13-point agreement on northeastern Syria.
As part of the deal, Turkey paused its anti-terror push east of the Euphrates River for 120 hours to allow the withdrawal of terrorist PKK and its Syrian offshoot YPG/PKK from the planned safe zone. The pause for the anti-terror operation will end Tuesday night.
Ankara and the U.S. also agreed on a 32-kilometer (20-mile) safe zone south of the Turkish border in Syria, where Turkey wants to accommodate Syrian refugees it is currently hosting.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S., and the European Union — has been responsible for deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.
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