Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said today, Friday, that the Kurdish issue “is in fact a bomb” threatening the entire Middle East, calling on the Kurds to accept dialogue with the Syrian government.
“I hope that our Kurdish friends will learn from the experience of American dodgers, that there is no other way but to find an agreement with the Syrian authorities”, Lavrov said.
Lavrov added in his speech at the Forum for Mediterranean Dialogue 2019, which was launched yesterday in the Italian capital, Rome: “The Kurdish problem is really a bomb that threatens all countries of the region”.
Lavrov reiterated his support for the so-called Astana operation, an attempt backed by Russia, Turkey and Iran to ease tension and favor talks between the conflicting parties in Syria.
For its part, Turkey confirmed that it doesn’t intend to withdraw from Syria before achieving a political settlement to the crisis in the country, noting that there is no difference between “ISIS” and “Al Nusra Front”.
“There is no difference between ISIS and Al Nusra, nor is there any difference between the Gulen organization and the PKK / YPG”, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said during his participation in the work of the “Mediterranean Dialogue” forum in Rome on Friday.
We were not selective in the fight against terrorism”.
He said that what he described as “the Syrian regime’s allegations” in this context is flimsy, accusing the authorities in Damascus and its allies of bringing Al Nusra front to Idlib.
“More than any other country, we are committed to the territorial integrity of Syria, and our operations have targeted only terrorists.
Of course, we cannot talk about the occupation of Syria.
When we were fighting ISIS, everyone felt happy… but now some members of the international coalition, including France, are overreacting (to the operation against Kurdish militants) because they want to support the separatist agenda of these terrorist organizations”.
“What should we do now?
If we withdraw immediately from that area, who will fill the void?
Terrorist organizations! ISIS or YPG.
If we leave the situation without reaching a political settlement, we’ll again see the terrorists there”.
“We certainly do not know whether the regime will reconcile with these organizations for its own benefit”, he said.
And Turkey is under constant criticism by a wide circle of Western and Arab countries because of its launch, on October 9th, of the “Spring of Peace” operation in northeastern Syria against the Kurdish “People’s Protection Units”, with which the US-led international coalition cooperates with “ISIS” while it says Turkey is an arm of the PKK.
This operation is the third for Turkey in Syria since 2016, and it comes without any approval by the Syrian government, which accuses the authorities in Ankara of violating Syrian sovereignty and occupying the country’s lands.