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Turkey Might Cooperate with Assad without Recognizing Him

Turkey Might Cooperate with Assad without Recognizing Him

Friday, 22 April, 2022 - 08:15
Two Syrian children in Reyhanli, Turkey (Getty Images)

Turkey said it was possible to cooperate with the Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad, on issues of terrorism and migrants without recognizing him.

Turkey is cooperating with Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq to secure Syrian refugees' voluntary and safe return.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that his country does not recognize the Taliban in Afghanistan but is cooperating with it to prevent the spread of terrorists and the arrival of more immigrants.

Cavusoglu stressed, in a television interview, that his country supports the unity of the Syrian territory, noting that the Syrian army has recently started fighting the People's Protection Units, the most significant component of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which he said, "plans to divide Syria."

Turkey classifies the Kurdish units as a terrorist organization and has recently escalated its attacks against the SDF in northeastern Syria.

The minister announced that the intelligence services of both countries had met previously to discuss security issues.

He added that the European Union and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) are currently holding meetings with the Syrian government to resolve the issue of the migrants.

He stressed that the crisis must be resolved within international law, and the EU and international organizations must deal with Assad in this regard.

The Assad regime has issued many amnesty decrees, but it does not guarantee the protection of the returning Syrians and their basic needs, otherwise, no refugees would remain in Lebanon, said the minister.

The Turkish minister said that his country had started a new stage to "voluntarily and safely" return refugees to Syria in cooperation with Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq.

The Foreign Minister said they must first ensure the safety of the Syrians before they are returned to their country and that the issue of the refugees must be considered from a political, humanitarian, and social perspective.

The Assad regime called on the citizens to return to Syria despite not being able to provide enough essential services to citizens in the areas under its control.

He denied the possibility of a demographic change in some states of Turkey due to the presence of Syrian refugees.

Turkey hosts more than 3.7 million Syrians, and the Syrians' issues have topped the country's main agenda ahead of the presidential and parliamentary elections scheduled for June 2023.

Several parties and officials, even within the ruling Justice and Development Party, have increased pressure on the government to begin the safe return of Syrians to their homeland.

Earlier, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, "We are not a country that shoots migrants. We embrace them," adding that the Syrians will want to return to their homes when peace is established, and the construction of brick homes is completed.

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