08:57 GMT +321 November 2019
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    Local residents applaud as a convoy of Turkish forces trucks transporting tanks is driven in Sanliurfa province, southeastern Turkey, at the border with Syria

    Russia Will Back Possibility to Amend Syria-Turkey Adana Pact If Sides Deem Necessary - Lavrov

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    Earlier in the day, Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlut Cavusoglu claimed that Syrian Kurds had begun leaving the country's safe zones, though they continue to violate a ceasefire regime.

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stated Monday that Russia supported the idea of amending the 1998 Adana pact between Syria and Turkey if the two sides find it necessary.

    “This is the existing international legal framework that has been recently confirmed by both parties, including in the context of current events. If the parties, in the course of contacts, consider it necessary and mutually acceptable to clarify or amend this agreement in any way, this will be their decision, we will certainly accept and support it," Lavrov said at a press conference.

    Lavrov further noted that all the Kurds present in Syria should be covered by the new Syrian constitution in order to guarantee the absence of any threat coming from the Syrian territory against Turkey.

    "All the Kurdish structures on the Syrian territory should be solidly covered by the Syrian legislation, the Syrian constitution, so that there are no illegal armed groups on the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic, and so that no threat to security of the Republic of Turkey and any other nation comes from the Syrian territory," Lavrov said at a press conference after talks with Bulgarian Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zakharieva.

    The minister further noted that Russia had no plans to host a Syria-Turkey security meeting amid existing tensions over Turkey's offensive in the north of the neighbouring country

    "A representative of the presidential administration has already commented on planned contacts between Syrian and Turkish representatives in Sochi. We do not plan such contacts," Lavrov said at a press conference.

    The statement comes amid the Turkish operation in Northern Syria dubbed "Operation Peace Spring" that began on 9 October, shortly after US President Donald Trump announced the withdrawal of US troops from Syria. The operation immediately drew criticism from the international community, while Damascus called it an occupation. Russia, which supports the Syrian government, called on Turkey to avoid escalation.

    A week after the start of the operation, US Vice President Mike Pence announced that the United States and Turkey had agreed on halting the Turkish offensive for 120 hours for the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) to leave the area within the 18-mile so-called safe zone, which Ankara intends to control unilaterally. However, both Ankara and Kurds have reported ceasefire violations.

    Tags:
    kurds, Mevlut Cavusoglu, Russia, Syria, Turkey
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