Ankara Says Turkish Military Op in Northern Syria is Temporary - German Foreign Minister

© REUTERS / Khalil AshawiTurkey-backed Syrian rebel fighters are seen together in the village of Yabisa, near the Turkish-Syrian border, Syria, October 12, 2019.
Turkey-backed Syrian rebel fighters are seen together in the village of Yabisa, near the Turkish-Syrian border, Syria, October 12, 2019.  - Sputnik International
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Earlier this month, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed that Russian military police and Syrian border guards would facilitate the withdrawal of Kurdish militants from a safe zone on the Syria-Turkey border.

Turkey said that the presence of its armed forces in north-eastern Syria is a temporary decision, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said during a press conference with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu in Ankara. 

"We should keep in mind that Turkey's presence on Syrian territory is temporary. We have discussed this today, and it was repeatedly confirmed. This is what I approve of," Maas said.

On 22 October, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed that Russian military police together with Syrian border guards would facilitate the withdrawal of Kurdish militants from an 18-mile safe zone on the border within 150 hours.

International Security Zone

Speaking during a press conference with Maas, Cavusoglu said that Turkey does not think that Germany's proposal on establishing an international safe zone in northeast Syria is realistic.

Earlier this week, German Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer proposed creating an internationally monitored security zone along the Syrian northern border to protect the mostly-Kurdish population in the region during Turkey's Operation Peace Spring that was launched on 9 October. 

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