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Erdogan calls for safe border zone in southern Turkey

May 31, 2022 at 11:39 am

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Adana, Turkiye on May 21, 2022. [Murat Kula – Anadolu Agency]

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has reiterated the “urgent necessity” of creating a 30km wide safe border zone in southern Turkey. Erdogan explained this in a telephone call on Monday with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, the Turkish presidency has revealed.

The Turkish leader explained during the call that it was not possible to establish a zone free of terrorism 30km wide on the Syrian side of the border. The Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and its Syrian affiliate, the People’s Defence Units (YPG), continue to attack civilians in Turkey and Syria, said Erdogan. He stressed that making the Turkish-Syrian border area safe is necessary as per the October 2019 agreement signed by the two presidents in the city of Sochi.

The agreement was intended to combat terrorism, ensure the territorial integrity and political unity of Syria, return refugees, and organise joint Turkish-Russian patrols to the east and west of the Operation Peace Spring area in north-east Syria, up to 10km on either side.

Turkish officials pointed out that the two leaders also discussed bilateral relations and regional issues, including the Russia-Ukraine war.

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