Turkey Considers Mending Ties with Syria

Syria's President Bashar al-Assad (R) welcomes Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan at Damascus airport January 17, 2011. REUTERS/Sana (SYRIA - Tags: POLITICS) FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS - RTXWOQH
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DOHA, Qatar – Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Sunday that the Turkish government is considering cooperating with Bashar Assad if he is re-elected in a transparent manner. The statement came during the Doha Forum, which ends today in Qatar.

During an interview at the plenary session of the event, Cavusoglu was asked about possible cooperation between Syria and Turkey if Bashar Assad is re-elected. He also made comments on what should be guaranteed in the suit and stated that the UN should participate in the process.

“If it is a democratic election and if you have credit, then everyone should consider it … We should prepare the country for the elections and this should be conducted under the auspices of the UN, under the UN umbrella. All eligible people should have the right to vote within Syria and outside Syria, including refugees in my country and in neighboring countries,” Cavusoglu said.

He emphasized that the future constitution of the country, which will open the way for the election, should be written by the Syrian people.

Syria has been at war since 2011, with government forces battling numerous opposition groups and terrorist organizations backed by the US and Turkey.

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At the end of 2017 the victory over ISIS was declared in both Syria and Iraq. However, some territories within the two countries continue to have conflicts with militants.

International efforts have recently focused on creating political conditions for the reconstruction of the country and the return of refugees.

Meanwhile, Turkey disregards Baghdad’s protests and continues to carry out air strikes in northern Iraq.

Iraq’s Foreign Ministry convened Turkey’s ambassador Fatih Yildiz on 14 December to protest a violation of Iraqi air space by Turkish planes and air strikes in several locations in northern Iraq that allegedly caused “loss of life and property.”

Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy announced on Saturday however that Turkey will continue to resort to its “legitimate right to self-defense” and will continue to conduct air strikes against targets of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Iraq if Baghdad not fulfilling its “obligation” to fight the group banned by Ankara.

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