Russian-Turkish memorandum on Syria is being implemented with all its terms, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday.
Speaking at a news conference in Moscow, Lavrov said there is no reason to look for a “hidden agenda” in the Russian-Turkish agreements.
“I don’t see any reason to search for a hidden agenda in what we agreed with Turkey during the talks of presidents [Vladimir] Putin and [Recep Tayyip] Erdogan in Sochi on Oct. 22.
“The approved memorandum is ultimately clear, and being implemented with all its terms,” the minister said.
Lavrov criticized the U.S. for “inconsistent actions” in Syria, saying it would be “unconstructive” and “counterproductive” to build a long-term Syrian settlement, while trying to keep “an eye on Washington”.
“I do not feel today we can negotiate with the U.S., to be honest.
“The fact that the U.S. claims to leave [from northern Syria], and then claims to return, means that it might claim to leave again tomorrow,” said Lavrov.
“It would be unconstructive and counterproductive to build a long-term policy to normalize the situation in Syria, a long-term policy to restore the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic with an eye to the inconsistent actions of the country, which is on Syrian territory illegally, in violation of international law,” he added.
“I would like to stress once again, the memorandum, which was approved by President Putin and President Erdogan in Sochi is being implemented, our military is in close coordination with the Syrian armed forces for the 30 km strip from the Syrian-Turkish border and our military policemen are working with Turkish colleagues to patrol a 10-km strip within the 30 km zone,” he said.
On Nov. 1, Turkey and Russia military personnel started joint ground patrols in northern Syria, east of Ras al-Ayn and 30 km (18.6 mi) west of Qamishli city, and the second patrol on Nov. 5, east of Ayn al-Arab and west of Tal Abyad districts.
Ras al-Ayn and Tal Abyad were cleared of terrorists during Turkey’s Operation Peace Spring — launched on Oct. 9 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.
Ankara wants YPG/PKK terrorists to withdraw from the region so that a safe zone can be created to pave the way for the safe return of some 2 million refugees.
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 the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants. The YPG is the Syrian offshoot of the PKK.
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