World Bulletin / News Desk
Turkey is a nation that can contribute to efforts toward lasting peace and stability in the Middle East, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said Monday.
“If there is one country that keeps the hopes of Syrian people alive, it is Turkey,” Yildirim told a group of NGO representatives, scholars and journalists during a keynote address at London-based think tank the International Institute for Strategic Studies.
Speaking at a panel titled “Turkey’s perspectives on the Middle East: Is there a light at the end of the tunnel?”, he pointed out that peace talks in Astana, Kazakhstan launched in January this year were not competing with similar efforts in Geneva but were aimed at supporting a peaceful transition in Syria.
“The Astana process is not an alternative to the Geneva process but a preparation for a sustainable and stable governance that would be based on the territorial integrity of Syria and in which all ethnic groups that have not had contact with terrorism [groups] would be represented.”
Yildirim said the parties involved in the Astana process -- an initiative by Turkey, Russia and Iran to look for a sustainable peace deal in Syria -- had come a long way in reducing tensions and achieving a ceasefire.
Urging the countries that comprise the coalition forces and especially the U.S. to take more responsibility from now on, Yildirim said he was sure that “in a not very long period of time, the Syria question will meet a solution and the struggle and pain experienced in the region will come to an end”.
Stressing that more than 3.5 million Syrians have been accommodated in Turkey after fleeing their country due to civil war, Yildirim said 250,000 Syrian children were born in Turkey and around 600,000 Syrian children are being educated at Turkish schools.
“Of course, it would be unthinkable for Turkey -- who shares a 911-kilometer-long border with Syria – to remain nonresponsive” to Syria becoming wreckage, he said.
“We have welcomed millions of people who fled oppression and attacks.”Last Mod: 28 Kasım 2017, 10:52