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    (File) Syrian men walk past a poster bearing a portrait of President Bashar al-Assad in the capital Damascus, on February 27, 2016, as the first major ceasefire of the five-year war takes hold and an international task force prepares to begin monitoring the landmark truce

    Turkey No Longer Sees Syrian Government as a Threat - Foreign Ministry

    © AFP 2018/ LOUAI BESHARA
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    Turkey's foreign minister has explained Ankara's position regarding the Syrian government and Kurdish People's Protection Units in light of Daesh's recent defeat and the state forces gaining control over the majority of territories previously seized by the opposition or militants.

    "Currently, there is no need to speak about the Syrian regime [government] being a threat to us," Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has stated.

    He has clarified that Ankara would coordinate an operation against the Syrian Kurds with Russia if it was necessary.

    Turkey does not oppose the Kurds' participation in the Syrian peace settlement, the minister explained, adding that Ankara has handed Moscow a list of Kurdish forces it was ready to work with.

    Moscow hasn't yet commented on the statements, however, it has repeatedly stressed the Kurds' important role in the fight against Daesh and called for their inclusion in talks on the country's political settlement.

    The remarks were made amid circulating reports on the US' changed stance towards Syrian President Bashar Assad's rule.

    Speaking in front lawmakers at a meeting of the ruling Justice and Development Party last week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan commented on US arms supplies to the YPG, questioning Washington's true motives, and spoke of a US "plan in relation to Turkey."

    READ MORE: Academic Explains How Syrian Kurds May Benefit From Fixing Ties With Damascus

    According to Erdogan, the US broke a promise it made to Ankara to stop the flow of weapons to the YPG Kurdish militia (considered by Turkey as an affiliate of the Kurdistan Workers' Party or the PKK), a designated terrorist organization in Turkey, the United States and the European Union), following Daesh's defeat in Syria, and has engaged in a buildup of its military presence in the region.

    READ MORE: 'Bring Turkey to Heel, Surround Russia': US Mideast Strategy as Seen From Ankara

    The president has stated that Turkey was monitoring the situation regarding the growing number of US military bases and "will act in accordance with the logic of the situation."

    Jerusalem Issue

    Turkey's foreign minister has mentioned the issue of Jerusalem, recognized as Israel's capital by the US on December 6, saying that the reaction of some countries to Washington's decision is not very firm.

    "We are working on a final declaration [on Jerusalem], which will be presented tomorrow at the summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation [in Istanbul]. We will stand against the position 'we stated and the issue is resolved'," Cavusoglu said.

    A few hours after Trump's declaration regarding Jerusalem, Erdogan, as the current chairman of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) called for an emergency meeting on December 13 to convene in Istanbul.

    "A populist policy will not bring about any benefits. Tomorrow we will send out a strong signal. From the Arab world, the reaction has been good, but from some other countries, the reaction has been inadequate. Who are they afraid of? This decision was taken by Trump, but how much does the US support this decision?" Cavusoglu said on the NTV channel.

    In his latest statement on December 11, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan called the US and Israel's "partner in bloodshed", calling its decision on Jerusalem not binding for Ankara. This stance follows his repeated criticism toward the move, explaining that the US announcement on the disputed area would be "a heavy blow for all mankind."

    READ MORE: Erdogan: US Becomes Partner in 'Bloodshed' After Decision on Jerusalem

    Tags:
    Mevlut Cavusoglu, Turkey, Syria, Russia
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