Moscow Calls on Ankara Not to Torpedo Syria Peace Talks

Moscow Calls on Ankara Not to Torpedo Syria Peace Talks
Sun Mar 13, 2016 17:09:19

Russia has called on Turkey to stop actions that could torpedo Syria’s peace talks and disrupt the ceasefire in the war-stricken country.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov on Friday slammed Ankara for shelling Syrian Kurdish positions and for sending weapons across the border to assist foreign-backed militants, Bloomberg reported.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov

Such actions must stop “to provide a more constructive atmosphere for the intra-Syrian talks and a more durable ceasefire,” said Gatilov.

Gatilov’s remarks come as a new round of talks between Syria’s government and opposition is scheduled for Monday in Geneva, Switzerland, as a partial ceasefire extends into a third week.

The ceasefire agreement in Syria, brokered by Russia and the United States, entered into force on February 27. The Syrian government accepted the terms of the truce on condition that military efforts against ISIS and the al-Nusra Front militants, who are excluded from the ceasefire, continue.

Since February, Turkey has been shelling the positions of fighters of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and its affiliate Democratic Union Party (PYD) in the northern parts of Syria.

Ankara regards the YPG and YPD as allies of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has been fighting for an autonomous Kurdish region inside Turkey since the 1980s.

The YPG, which controls nearly Syria’s entire northern border with Turkey, has been fighting against the ISIS Takfiri terrorist group.

The government in Ankara is angered by the rapid advance of Syrian Kurdish fighters in areas near the Turkish border, Press TV reported.

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