Putin and Erdogan Agree on ‘Momentous’ Decisions on Syria in Sochi Meeting
Oct. 22, 2019 (EIRNS)—Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met in Sochi, today, and emerged with a joint memorandum on security along the Turkish-Syrian border just hours before the U.S.-Turkish agreement on a pause in Turkish military operations was scheduled to end. At a joint press conference, Putin said, “I cannot but express satisfaction with the fact that as a result of rather long and arduous work [we] managed to achieve agreements ... that, I believe, are very important, if not momentous, and will help to resolve the complicated situation on the Syrian-Turkish border.”
Speaking separately, Putin also advocated that the Syrian government and Kurdish forces need to hold broad talks in order to take into account the interests of all the religious confessions that exist in the country, reported Sputnik. Putin stated that Russia shares Turkey’s concerns about separatist sentiments in Syria, which, as the Russian President said, have been stimulated from outside the country. Putin also stressed that the situation in northeast Syria should not block the launching of the Constitutional Committee, which is set to meet for the first time on Oct. 29-30 in Geneva.
The joint Putin-Erdogan statement, as published by the Turkish Daily Sabah, included the following points:
• The two sides reiterate their commitment to the preservation of the political unity and territorial integrity of Syria and the protection of Turkey’s national security.
• They emphasize their determination to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and to disrupt separatist agendas on Syrian territory.
• Within this framework, the established status quo in the current Operation Peace Spring area, covering Tel Abyad and Ras Al-Ayn within a depth of 32 km, will be preserved.
• Both sides reaffirm the importance of the Adana Agreement. The Russian Federation will facilitate the implementation of the Adana Agreement in the current circumstances.
• Beginning at noon on Oct. 23, Russian military police and Syrian border guards will oversee the withdrawal of armed Kurdish YPG elements on the border on either side of the Operation Peace Spring area. After 150 hours, when the withdrawal of the YPG to more than 30 km from the border should be completed, Russian-Turkish joint patrols of the border region will begin, with the exception of Qamishli.