BY DAILY SABAH
Türkiye will continue to show solidarity with the people of Syria and pursue efforts to find a permanent solution to the Syrian crisis, the foreign ministry said on Friday.
“Türkiye, in cooperation with all stakeholders of the international community, will continue to make a strong contribution to the efforts to find a permanent solution to this conflict in line with the expectations of the Syrian people,” the ministry said in a statement.
The ministry reiterated that Türkiye has been the leading country in finding a solution since the beginning of the conflict and has launched the Astana process, played a pioneering role in establishing the constitutional committee and fully supported the opposition in the political process.
Türkiye, which provides temporary protection to millions of Syrians, continues to actively contribute to the efforts to prepare suitable conditions for the voluntary and safe return of refugees and to find a solution to the conflict in accordance with the road map outlined in the U.N. Security Council Resolution 2254.
The statement of the ministry comes after some circles in northern Syria attacked the Turkish flag and Turkish positions due to Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu saying he met Syrian regime Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad briefly during a non-aligned movement meeting in October.
“We need to bring the opposition and regime together for reconciliation somehow, there will be no permanent peace otherwise,” he said on Thursday while addressing reporters on the last day of the 13th Ambassadors Conference in Türkiye’s capital Ankara.
Çavuşoğlu highlighted the necessity of a strong central administration to prevent the disintegration of Syria and this would only be possible with unity.
There must be a strong administration in Syria to prevent any division of the country, Çavuşoğlu said. “The will that can dominate every corner of its lands can only be achieved through unity and solidarity,” he added.
He emphasized the need to take steps to rebuild civil war-torn Syria since 2011.
The brief encounter marks the first time the top Turkish diplomat interacted with a Syrian official, as Türkiye has been backing moderate opposition groups against the Bashar Assad regime since the beginning of the Syrian civil war in 2011. Also, Turkish forces carried out several cross-border operations to clear its border from the occupation of the PKK terrorist group’s Syrian affiliate, the YPG, and the Daesh terrorist group in order to provide national border security and create a stable environment for local people living near Turkish borders.
In July, Türkiye, Russia and Iran pledged to cooperate in Syria to decisively defeat Daesh and other terrorists.
The Astana meeting was initiated by Türkiye, Iran and Russia to bring the warring sides in Syria together to find a permanent solution to the decadelong war. The main agenda items have been the constitutional system, political transition, security and resettlement. The first Astana meeting was held in Türkiye in January 2017 to facilitate U.N.-sponsored peace talks in Geneva.