Erdogan urges expansion of cessation of hostilities in Syria

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says that current Syrian cessation of hostilities has not been covering most of country expressing his hope that it would cover whole of Syria

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan (L) attends a news conference with Ivory Coast's President Alassane Ouattara at the presidential palace in Abidjan Feb. 29, 2016.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday that the Syrian cessation of hostilities declared last week covered only one third of the country and he hoped it would be expanded to encompass all of it.

Attacks are still going on in parts of the country, Erdogan told a joint news conference in Abidjan with his Ivorian counterpart, whom he met as part of his official visit to West Africa tour.

“A cease-fire has not been reached in other regions of Syria, either. I hope we reach a cease-fire in the whole Syria soon and peace is ensured,” he said.

Last week, a cessation-of-hostilities deal was agreed on by Washington and Moscow. It is the latest in a series of diplomatic efforts ostensibly aimed at ending the conflict, which will soon enter its sixth year.

DAESH and Al Qaeda’s Syria affiliate, Nusra Front, which are designated terrorist organizations by the UN Security Council, were not included in the agreement.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Monday that a cessation of hostilities in Syria was largely holding but that major and regional powers were looking into some incidents that he hoped would be contained.

"By and large the cessation of hostilities is holding, even though we have experienced some incidents," Ban told reporters in Geneva after talks with his envoy Staffan de Mistura and before a meeting of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG).

"But the task force and all other members of this ISSG are now trying to make sure that this does not spread any further and this cessation of hostilities can continue," he further stated.

The United Nations hopes the cessation of hostilities agreement, which is less binding than a formal ceasefire and was not directly signed by the Syrian warring sides, can precede a more formal ceasefire.

TRTWorld, Reuters