Turkey will discuss ceasefire in Syria before Eid at G20, Pres. Spox Kalın says

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 31.08.2016 13:27
Updated 05.09.2016 11:51
emAA Photo/em
AA Photo

Presidential spokesperson İbrahim Kalın said on Wednesday that a cease-fire to prevent the killing of more civilians in Syria would be discussed in bilateral talks with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at the G20 summit in China.

Speaking to reporters in Ankara, Kalın stated that the killing of innocent people in Aleppo is unacceptable, adding: "There is an organization pioneered by the dear president for a cease-fire here before Eid [al-Adha]. This will also be on the table with interlocutors at the G20."

Kalın said President Erdoğan would hold meetings with People's Republic of China President Xi Jinping, U.S. President Barack Obama, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, U.N. General Secretary Ban-ki Moon and EU leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President François Hollande and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. He also stressed that any efforts to depict Turkey's Operation Euphrates Shield against terrorist organizations in Syria as an operation targeting Kurds is completely unethical and nothing more than terror propaganda.

"We strongly condemn such initiatives that portray this [Operation Euphrates Shield] as a movement against the Kurds in Syria [and] as an operation to block Kurds' achievements," he said.

Kalın indicated that Turkey condemns attempts to portray the operation as if it were targeting the Kurds, saying that Turkey has no problems with Syrian Kurds and aims to clear its borders of all terrorist groups, including DAESH and the PKK-affiliated Syrian Democratic Union Party's (PYD) armed wing, the People's Protection Units (YPG).

He also noted that statements made by U.S. officials equating Turkey with the YPG in the fight against DAESH are unacceptable and that a cease-fire or agreement being made with terrorists is out of the question. He added that the PYD/YPG are offshoots of the PKK terrorist organization.''You cannot defeat a terrorist group with another terror organization,'' Kalın said, highlighting that Turkey is against all types of terrorist organizations.

Kalın also noted that fighting terrorism is Turkey's priority and will continue to be so regardless of whether it receives support from allies or not. However, he noted that terrorism is a global problem and its solution requires global cooperation.

Concerning the cross-border operation in northern Syria conducted by the Turkey-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA), Kalın said the objective of the operation is to clear DAESH terrorists from a 90 kilometer (56-mile) stretch of territory along the Turkish border.

Regarding the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) threat, Kalın said the president would also discuss FETÖ leader Fethullah Gülen's extradition to Turkey with President Obama. He also said it is unacceptable that European states had not sent high-level officials to visit Turkey since the failed coup attempt on July 15 orchestrated by FETÖ, speaking after several lower level European trips in recent weeks.

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