| 7 December 2023, Thursday |

Türkiye: Most Arab countries won’t grant Syria ‘blank check’ by rejoining Arab League

Türkiye affirmed that the majority of Arab countries do not want to give the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad a “blank check” by returning to the Arab League.

Türkiye stated that most Arab countries are unwilling to allow Syria unrestricted return to the Arab League, and everyone wants to ensure the exclusion of a military solution and the safe return of refugees.

Ankara asserted that its military operations would continue against Kurdish armed groups in northern Syria and Iraq and that it does not wish for Assad to resort to a military solution.

It noted that the negotiations for normalizing relations with Syria take into consideration its people’s interests.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu indicated that the recent contacts between Syria and Arab countries aimed to allow Syrians to return to their country.

During a televised interview, Cavusoglu said that most Arab countries would not allow the Assad regime to return to the Arab League without taking steps toward a political process to unify Syria.

Cavusoglu warned that if the regime doesn’t take serious steps toward a political solution, the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) will become stronger.

YPG is the largest component of Syria’s democratic (SDF), which Ankara considers an extension of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Regarding the negotiations for the normalization of relations between Türkiye and Syria, Cavusoglu said that Russia had determined May 10 for the first meeting of its kind at the level of the foreign ministers of Türkiye, Russia, Syria, and Iran in Moscow.

He indicated that there might be a joint press conference at the end of the meeting.

The scene in Syria is expected to become very complex and challenging in the future, said the FM, adding that Ankara has engaged in dealing with the regime’s government to see how it would develop.

The minister asserted that a military solution is not possible, and the Syrian regime must clarify if it still believes that a political solution is possible. He warned against dividing Syria and another wave of migration due to the dire economic situation.

Meanwhile, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that the military operations carried out by Türkiye beyond its borders had not ended yet.

Erdogan indicated that Ankara would soon destroy PKK’s terrorist hideouts in Mount Qandil in northern Iraq.

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said that his country’s forces tore down the terrorist corridor to be established in northern Syria, killing the terrorists.

Akar stressed that terrorism had not ended yet, and the struggle continues with the same determination and at an increasing pace.

The Turkish Ministry of Defense said, in a statement on Saturday, that the border forces arrested four people, including three terrorists, while trying to infiltrate from Syrian territory into Türkiye.

  • Asharq Al-Awsat