Turkish PM Binali Yildirim / Unknown

04/07/2016 - 19:04 0
Turkey Seeking Rapprochement With Syrian Regime

The new Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim has said that Turkey is "determined to develop peaceful relations" with countries ranging from Russia and Isreal, to Egypt and Syria.

Speaking after the Justice and Development Party (AKP) Cabinet Meeting today, Yildirim commented on the recent rapproachement with Israel and apology to Russia after the downing of a Su-24 fighter jet last year and said, "We are returning to our former relations with Russia and normalising relations with Israel, we have surprises for our citizens."

"We are determined to develop peaceful, friendly relations with countries ranging from Russia to Isreal, from Egypt to Syria and the EU to the USA. The situation in Syria especially is not sustainable but it is possible to change it. Everyone needs to take responsibility. Meetings are taking place for a lasting peace. We have only one condition; and that is for a just, equal and bilateral (Sunni and Shia) state to form," the prime minister said.

Yildirim's comments confirm speculations that secret meetings have taken place between Turkish and Syrian officials in Algiers recently. Kurdish commentators have said that the secret meetings have an anti-Kurdish agenda, with Turkey and Syria both refusing to recognise Kurdish autonomy in Rojava/Northern Syria.

Turkey's recent initiative to mend ties with neighbouring and regional countries, including Iran, is being viewed as a new diplomatic project to regain Turkey's diminishing influence in the region. There are fears that the Turkish government will use strengthening ties to bolster the war against Kurds in Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey, all with considerable Kurdish populations and areas.

Turkish officials had previously demanded that the Assad regime be toppled before any discussions about a solution and peace in Syria.