Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar has said that Turkey is ready to cooperate with NATO allies in turning northeastern Syria into a safe and habitable environment where the refugees may voluntarily return, highlighting the Turkish government’s willingness to study a proposal tabled by Germany to that end.
“We always ask our allies: "What proposals you can put forward in terms of providing security and welfare to this region so that Syrians may return on a volunteer basis?"
The NATO ministers had in-depth discussions on the Turkish military operation in northeastern Syria, as many allied countries argued that it would further destabilize the region and risk the return of ISIS.
Akar conveyed that there were some criticisms directed against the Turkish operation in both plenary sessions and in private meetings by some ministers.
“Turkey has never wanted to hold this operation alone,” Akar said, recalling that the government has long been demanding help from its allies to eradicate the terrorist threats just across its borders, which were in fact the borders of the NATO as well.
Akar stressed that Turkey found the proposal put forward by Germany for the creation of a security zone in northeast Syria as positive.
“I have met my German counterpart and told her that we are ready to examine the proposal once we will hear more details about it. Because her proposal is in line with our previous calls for setting up a safe zone,” he said.
On the question of whether the Turkish-Russian deal is in place and implemented in the right way, Akar said there were no problems so far in regards to the Ankara-Moscow agreement.
“The agreement we have brokered with Russia terminates at 6.00 p.m. on Oct 29. We will move in accordance with the developments in the field but we see that it is being implemented in the right way and in line with the deal,” he recalled.
Source: Hurriyet Daily.