Turkish foreign minister calls on Iran to stop truce violations in Syria

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Iran must put pressure on allied Shiite militias to abide by the truce that is to form the basis for a ceasefire. (AFP)

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu called on Iran to exert pressure on Shiite-backed militias and the Syrian government to stop violating a ceasefire in Syria, warning it was putting planned peace talks in peril.

Turkey is working with Russia on the question of sanctions for those who violate the ceasefire deal, which was brokered by Ankara and Moscow, Cavusoglu said in a televised interview with the state-run Anadolu news agency.

He warned that peace negotiations being prepared by Moscow in the Kazakh capital, Astana, could fail if increased ceasefire violations are not halted. Turkey on Wednesday warned that planned Syrian peace talks co-sponsored by Russia were at risk, calling on the Damascus regime of President Bashar al-Assad to halt violations of a ceasefire.

Peace talks

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Iran, the main backer of Assad along with Russia, must put pressure on allied Shiite militias to abide by the truce that is to form the basis for a ceasefire. If the truce is properly observed, he said the peace talks would start on January 23 in Kazakhstan’s capital Astana under the auspices of Turkey and Russia.

“If we do not stop the increasing violations, the Astana process could fail. After the ceasefire, we see violations,” Cavusoglu told the state-run Anadolu news agency in an interview. “When we look at who commits these violations, it is Hezbollah, in particular Shiite groups and the regime,” he added.

Erdogan on al-Bab offensive

A Turkish-backed offensive by Syrian rebels to take the Syrian town of al-Bab from ISIS should be finished soon, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday.

In a televised speech, Erdogan also said he was determined that other areas of Syria, including the town of Manbij, should be cleared by the Turkish-backed forces, referring to a town 50 km east of al-Bab.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:49 - GMT 06:49
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