CHP Vice-President Çeviköz on the Tehran Summit: Remained insufficient to resolve the legitimate concerns of Turkey

“On September 7, the meeting in Tehran between Turkey, Iran, and Russia regarding developments in Idlib remained insufficient to resolve the legitimate concerns of Turkey. It is noteworthy that in the declaration published at the end of the meeting, there is no assurance to guarantee the sustainability of de-confliction in İdlib. This situation shows that the possibility of experiencing a human tragedy in İdlib is very likely to happen. Such a development will provide the basis to a major new wave of migration towards Turkey.
The Syrian administration’s launch of a military operation against Idlib does not only endanger the security of the civilian population living in the region but also poses a serious threat to the existence of the Turkish Armed Forces in observation missions established in the region. Elimination of such a threat requires active diplomacy.
Under the circumstances, Turkey should immediately take the following steps:
1. The United Nations and all relevant institutions and countries should be called to cooperate for the evacuation of the civilian people and non-terrorist groups from Idlib and for their relocation within the borders of Syria.
2. Turkey should ask all opposition groups in İdlib to leave their weapons and should make intensive efforts to achieve this goal.
3. Idlib is a question of national security for Turkey. It is imperative for Turkey to strongly emphasize this point of view during the negotiations with Moscow and Tehran. It is also time for Turkey to reach out to the Syrian administration and work on revitalizing the spirit of the 1998 Adana Agreement between the two neighbouring countries.
4. Talks with the United States on Syria should not be limited to Manbij and issues related to PYD/YPG. The US should be informed about the Astana and Sochi processes as well as the Tehran meeting and talks should be expanded to involve the Syrian problem in a wider context.
5. The humanitarian dimension comes to the forefront during the negotiations with the EU, and the purpose is observed to be the prevention of a new refugee problem. Turkey should work meticulously and patiently to explain to the EU that the Idlib issue is posing a threat to its national security and cooperate with the EU, too, for establishing peace and stability in Syria.
6. In order to ensure that the units of Turkish Army located around Idlib for observation missions are not exposed to an attack, Turkey should strongly supervise and control the groups that might provoke the Syrian administration for such a move, and take the necessary measures to ensure the safety of our soldiers.”
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