CHP proposes five-article solution to Idlib standoff with Syria, Russia

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Turkey’s main opposition party has proposed five measures for a quick resolution to recent clashes in Idlib amid an ongoing conflict between Turkey and Syria that claimed the lives of seven Turkish troops and one civilian as a result of the latter’s deadly attack on early Feb. 3.

“We are taking responsibility and proposing these five measures to the government,” Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the chairman of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), told his parliamentary group on Feb. 4.

“The most important issue is the security of all troops inside Idlib. The government must take all necessary diplomatic and military measures for the safety of our soldiers,” the CHP’s first article read.

“Due to the fact that the Sochi agreement could not be fully implemented, Turkey should re-evaluate the current situation in Idlib with Russia. If need be, the Sochi agreement needs to be amended in line with the new realities in the field. A new cease-fire line should also be considered,” it said in its second article.

“The government must quit its policy based on regime change in Syria. It should abandon all its cooperation with groups that threaten the territorial integrity of Syria. The political track should be accelerated through global diplomatic efforts,” its third article noted.

“The tension in Idlib has triggered a new refugee influx. Turkey should not be left alone in hosting them. Turkey should work with Russia and the U.N. to host them in a safe zone to be set up inside the Syrian territories,” it said as its fourth item.

“Idlib is a security problem for Turkey but it should not be forgotten that it’s Syrian lands. Efforts for the disarmament of the terror groups should be intensified and measures should be taken against those who don’t lay down weapons,” the CHP concluded.

“The government may not support our proposals or can find them not sufficient. But we know that a quick solution to the Idlib problem can be found if it endorses our proposals,” Kılıçdaroğlu stated.

Stressing that “around 20,000 to 50,000 jihadist terrorists” are situated in the Idlib province and that Turkey should also be concerned of their presence just across its borders, Kılıçdaroğlu asked, “What will happen if these terrorists enter Turkey among hundreds of thousands of civilians?”

The CHP leader reiterated his criticisms over the government’s entire Syria policy since 2011 which he said caused Turkey very serious economic, security and social problems.

“If you exclude the Foreign Ministry and well-experienced diplomats from the decision-making processes and take steps without consultation, it’s inevitable to come to this point,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.

Hurriyet Daily News

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