Turkey’s defense minister warns Syrian rebels against ‘provocation’ during the thaw in Ankara and Damascus
Akar promised his country will not take any action against the Syrian rebels and urged them to remain calm and “act with this awareness,” according to the semi-official Anadolu news agency.
The Turkish minister told reporters after a cabinet meeting on Tuesday that reconciliation efforts between the two neighboring countries were “in good faith” and aimed at improving bilateral times and promoting regional peace.
“We hope that (the talks) develop through mutual negotiations and lead to a situation that will contribute to peace and stability in the region,” Akar said.
Turkey is working towards a solution to the migration problem, he added, stressing that the return of Syrian refugees to their homeland will be voluntary in accordance with UN decisions, Xinhua news agency reported.
Syrian, Turkish and Russian defense ministers, along with intelligence chiefs, met in Moscow on December 28, 2022, the first high-level contact between Ankara and Damascus since the start of the Syrian conflict.
Last week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he would meet with his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad to promote peace and stability in the region.
The two leaders have not met since the outbreak of civil war in Syria in 2011, as Turkey has supported Syrian rebels politically and militarily during the 11-year crisis. Turkey is also hosting nearly 3.7 million refugees from Syria.
Syrian rebels fighting to overthrow al-Assad protest normalization talks between Ankara and Damascus.
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