Moscow has promised Ankara that People's Protection Units (YPG) terrorists will not be in the Syrian territories across the border as Bashar Assad's forces move north, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said Thursday.
Russia "promised that the PKK or YPG will not be on the other side of the border," Çavuşoğlu said in an interview with the BBC. "If Russia, accompanied by the Syrian army, removes YPG elements from the region, we will not oppose this."
Earlier Thursday, Russia's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said the Assad regime should get control over its border with Turkey as part of any settlement of the conflict in the region, as Ankara pressed on with its anti-terror operation in northeastern Syria.
Meanwhile, Presidential Spokesperson Ibrahim Kalın held talks Thursday with a Russian delegation led by Alexander Lavrentyev, Moscow's envoy for Syria.
The talks focused on Turkey's Operation Peace Spring as well as the latest situation in Idlib and Manbij. The parties agreed to continue their cooperation in order to tackle the threat to Syria's territorial integrity poised by terrorist groups.
Talks with the Russians come as U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and State Secretary Mike Pompeo visit Ankara to discuss the Turkish operation.
Turkey launched Operation Peace Spring, the third in a series of cross-border anti-terror operations in northern Syria targeting terrorists affiliated with Daesh and the PKK's Syrian offshoot the People's Protection Units (YPG), on Oct. 9 at 4 p.m.
The operation, conducted in line with the country's right to self-defense borne out of international law and U.N. Security Council resolutions, aims to establish a terror-free safe zone for Syrians return in the area east of the Euphrates River controlled by the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which is dominated by YPG terrorists.
The PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union — has waged a terror campaign against Turkey for more than 30 years, resulting in the deaths of nearly 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.
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