PM: Turkey To Take More Active Role In Syria Conflict
August 20, 2016
Turkish Prime Binali Yildirim says Ankara will take a more active role in addressing the conflict in Syria in the next six months to prevent the country from splintering along ethnic lines.
"Turkey we will be more active in the Syria issue in the coming six months as a regional player. This means to not allow Syria to be divided on any ethnic base, for Turkey this is crucial," Yildirim said at a news conference in Istanbul.
Yildirim also said that President Bashar al-Assad may have a role in the transitional period but not in Syria's future.
Kurdish groups have begun carving out their own regions in Syria as they are fighting groups from Syria's Arab majority seeking to overthrow Assad.
Turkey is afraid that strong Kurdish militant groups in Syria will encourage its own Kurdish insurgency.
Yildirim also ruled out any new peace initiative with Turkey's outlawed Kurdish rebels saying Ankara would not "enter into a dialogue with a terror organization."
The Kurdistan Workers' Party has intensified its bomb attacks against the police and military, killing more than a dozen people in attacks this week.
Based on reporting by AP and Reuters
Copyright (c) 2016. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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