Turkey hopes for Syria truce in time for Eid

Turkey hopes for Syria truce in time for Eid
2 min read
06 September, 2016
Turkey is seeking a ceasefire in Syria in time for Eid al-Adha, despite the failure of world powers to announce a deal at the G20 summit.
Turkey has said that a ceasefire could take place in Aleppo, Syria's second city [Getty]
Turkey on Tuesday said it hoped a ceasefire in Syria could be implemented in time for Eid al-Adha, despite the failure of world powers to announce a deal at the G20 summit in China.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's spokesman, Ibrahim Kalin, revealed that the Turkish leader had met separately with Russian and US counterparts Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama a second time before leaving the G20 meeting in Hangzhou.

He said Erdogan had told the two leaders that it was essential "as soon as possible to agree a ceasefire or a truce" for Syria's northern Aleppo province.

"We are waiting for a final agreement. We received an outline but we are expecting an agreement on paper that can be implemented," Kalin told NTV television.

Asked when such a truce could be implemented, Kalin said Erdogan had told Putin that the people of Aleppo should benefit from a suspension of fighting in time for the Feast of the Sacrifice (Eid al-Adha) Islamic holiday which in Turkey begins on September 12.

Kalin said that the ceasefire could begin with a 48-hour-truce that would then be lengthened and would see both the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and opposition fighters halt fire.

An agreement between Russia and the United States was believed to have been close at the G20 but Washington then admitted no deal could be announced for the moment.

Turkey and Russia have been on opposite sides of Syria's five-and-a-half-year civil war, with Moscow backing Assad and Ankara supporting the opposition against him.

However, there have been signs of a rapprochement on Syria between the two countries after a deal to normalise crisis-hit relations, with Ankara acknowledging Assad could temporarily stay on in a transition.

Turkey has also staged a major incursion inside Syria to back the opposition fighters which it says is aimed at rooting out both Islamic State [IS] and Kurdish militia on its border.

Kalin said that Putin told Erdogan in China that the operation, which has now lasted two weeks, had his "full support".

Meanwhile, Kalin added that there was still no agreement between Turkey and the US over the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), which Washington sees as an ally in the fight against IS but Ankara regards as a terror group.