Türkiye has called on the international community to cooperate in achieving the voluntary, safe and dignified return of Syrian refugees on its territory. At the same time, it confirmed that it would continue its operations targeting terrorist organizations at home and across borders.
The country’s National Security Council emphasized the importance of international cooperation in the issue of refugees, saying that it would contribute to achieving their voluntary, safe and dignified return to their homeland.
This came in a statement issued on Thursday evening, at the end of the first meeting of the newly-established council, after the recent presidential and parliamentary elections.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had confirmed, after the first meeting of his new government on Tuesday, that Türkiye would return the Syrian refugees to their country in a safe, voluntary and honorable manner, saying: “We will encourage our brothers, who sought refuge in our country fleeing the war and the attacks of terrorist organizations, to voluntarily return to their homeland safely and honorably.”
During his electoral campaign, Erdogan pledged to return more than a million Syrian refugees to safe areas established by Türkiye in northern Syria, where it is building residential villages with services to accommodate them in conditions suitable for life and work.
“We will contribute to peace and stability on a global scale by maintaining our pioneering foreign policy and active humanitarianism,” he stated.
Türkiye places the return of refugees among the three main goals of negotiations to normalize relations with Syria, which also include cooperation in combating terrorism and advancing the political process to achieve stability and preserve the country’s unity.
Meanwhile, Ankara announced the arrest of a female official in the Kurdish People’s Protection Units in a joint operation of its intelligence with the pro-Turkish Syrian National Army, while she was trying to infiltrate from Manbij into Turkish territory.
On Friday, the official Anadolu Agency quoted security sources as saying that members of the Syrian National Army had arrested an official of the People’s Protection Units in the city of Manbij, after obtaining information from Turkish intelligence about her movements. She was later handed over to the Turkish security authorities.