MİDDLE EAST

At G20, Erdoğan urges concrete steps for 'safe zone' in Syria

Turkish President Erdoğan criticizes the Western countries for not taking any action on previously suggested Syrian safe zone for refugees

News Service Reuters Agency, Yeni Şafak
Turkish President Recep Tayyıp Erdoğan during the G-20 Summit, pointed out last year's diplomatic dialogue and criticized the Western countries for not taking any action when they suggested a safe zone could help solve the Syrian crisis.

Erdoğan urged world powers to set up a "safe zone" in Syria, providing people in the Arab nation with an area that was free from fighting and which would help stem the flow of refugees.

Speaking at a gathering of leaders of the G20 in China, Erdoğan said he had called specifically for a "no-fly zone" in talks with the Russian and U.S. leaders.

“At the leaders' summit in Antalya, we said that the Syrian crisis could be solved by creating a safe zone for the refugees, and we reiterated this. Not a single country took a solid step; the Syrian subject continues to be a bleeding wound," Turkish President said.

He added that the Western countries' being "bent on their security", to the point of taking on a "racist" attitude is unfortunately "shameful".

"Right now, in Syria, 600,000 civilians lost their lives. To still say 'let Assad stay' seems to me like an embarrassment to humanity," Erdoğan emphasized.

While commenting on Turkey's Operation Euphrates Shield, Erdoğan reiterated that the aim of Turkish operation is to stop terror groups advancing in northern Syria.

"Turkish military's anti-terror operation in Syria aimed to drive Daesh away from its border and ensure the YPG terrorists did not expand in the area," the President said.

Turkey says both Daesh and the YPG are terrorist organizations.

He also highlighted that Turkey's operation in northern Syria does not threaten Syria's territorial integrity.

The president said he was working with U.S.-led coalition forces and Russia to establish a ceasefire in Aleppo before the Eid al-Adha religious holiday, expected to start around Sept. 11.



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