Türkiye has confirmed its readiness to resume normalization talks with Syria, but refused calls for a military withdrawal from the north of the country, saying that it was “illogical” to raise this matter at the present time.
Turkish Defense Minister Yaşar Guler noted that his country “is ready to resume talks with Syria, with the participation of Russia and Iran, as part of the normalization of relations between Ankara and Damascus.”
In statements to the media on Friday, Guler said that Ankara was always ready for dialogue, but the demands of the Syrian side were “not something that can be accepted immediately.”
Türkiye questions the ability of the Syrian army to protect the borders, which Ankara says are threatened by the spread of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, the largest component of the SDF.
Moscow, which is sponsoring the process of normalizing relations between Ankara and Damascus, proposed returning to the Adana Agreement, signed in 1999, which allows Turkish forces to penetrate 5 kilometers deep into Syrian territory if they are exposed to threats. However, Türkiye insists on a distance of 30 kilometers and refuses to withdraw from areas under its control in northern Syria.
Iran also revealed that an agreement had been reached between Ankara and Damascus during the last Astana round, which was held on June 20-21, on a formula for the withdrawal of Turkish forces and securing the borders. But the two capitals did not comment on this announcement, which was made by Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian.
Meanwhile, the Turkish National Security Council confirmed Ankara’s determination to fight terrorist organizations in the region, including the Kurdistan Workers’ Party and the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, which Türkiye considers to be an arm of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party in Syria.
A statement issued on Thursday night, at the conclusion of the council meeting, pointed to “the legitimate resistance of the Syrian people against the terrorist organization, which kills innocents and recruits children...”
The statement added that this organization “is the biggest obstacle to peace, security and stability in Syria.”