Turkey reacts positively to proposed Syria cessation deal

Turkish deputy PM welcomes proposed cesseation of hostilities deal for Syrian conflict and says process would be positive for Turkey

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus delivers a speech during a press conference at the presidential complex after a cabinet meeting in Ankara, Turkey, on February 22, 2016.

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said on Monday that Turkey responds positively to a truce proposal in Syria put forward by the US and Russia.

"The announcement of the truce and starting of the truce process is positive for us also," said Kurtulmus after a press conference following a Cabinet meeting chaired by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara.

Turkey welcomes plans for a halt to fighting in Syria but is not optimistic about the positive outcome to talks on a political transition, Kurtulmus said on Tuesday.

Kurtulmus said Ankara had reservations concerning possible actions which Russian forces could take against Syria's moderate opposition and civilians.

The US and Russia agreed on a draft proposal  on Monday calling for a cessation of hostilities in Syria beginning on Feb. 27, but this will exclude the DAESH terrorist organisation and the Al Qaeda linked al Nusra Front.

Turkey has also expressed its determination to continue its counter terrorism efforts during the Cabinet meeting.

"During the Cabinet meeting, we discussed once again continuing the fight against terrorism decisively, and at the same time, making all necessary arrangements in our action plan without compromising our unity, peace and democracy," Kurtulmus said.

"Besides, cross border sources of terrorism and threats of these sources on Turkey were also talked about," he said, adding that Turkey had made preparations to deal with them.

Ankara was hit by a bomb attack on February 17 that left 28 people - 20 of them military personnel - dead and 81 others injured.

The attack was carried out jointly by a Syrian-national YPG member and PKK terrorists based in Turkey and came four months after twin bombings attributed to DAESH which killed 103 people in the capital - the deadliest terrorist attack in Turkish history.

The YPG is the military wing of the PYD - the Syrian affiliate of the PKK - which is considered to be a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the US, and NATO.

TRTWorld and agencies