In an op-ed for "Newsweek" magazine, Mevlut Cavusoglu said if separatist terrorist organisations were given weapons to advance their goals, the solution of a territorially integrated Syria would be elusive.

This December 20, 2017 file photo shows Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu holding a press conference ahead of the departure for New York at the Ataturk International Airport in Istanbul, Turkey.
This December 20, 2017 file photo shows Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu holding a press conference ahead of the departure for New York at the Ataturk International Airport in Istanbul, Turkey. ( AA )

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said peace efforts in Syria would remain elusive if terrorist organisations were given a free hand and weapons.

In an op-ed, "This is how to bring peace in Syria," written in international Newsweek magazine, Cavusoglu said the US support to PYD and YPG is "an effort going terribly awry."

Turkey considers PYD and its military wing the YPG as Syrian branches of the PKK network, which has waged war against Turkey for more than 30 years and is internationally recognised as a terrorist organisation.

“The vision for a politically united and territorially integrated Syria will be elusive if separatist terrorist organisations are given a free hand and weapons to advance their goals,” Cavusoglu said.

Reiterating that the fight against terrorism cannot be won by siding with one terrorist organisation against another, Cavusoglu said: “It is the very core idea of the NATO alliance that the security of an ally is prioritised over short-term tactical gains that only help create a vicious cycle of violence.”

Cavusoglu also said that the Geneva process should be “resuscitated.”

“Paying lip service to its primacy as the essential platform in the political process takes us nowhere. The international community has to make the best out of all means at its disposal."

Syrian National Dialogue Congress

Discussing a presidential summit in Russia's Sochi city last November, he said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had laid down two conditions for the upcoming Sochi congress in January.

They include: "a clear and strong link with the UN-mediated Geneva process" and "a clear rejection of anyone affiliated with terrorist organisations, including the PYD and YPG.”

Sochi is the designated venue of the Syrian National Dialogue Congress, set to be held on January 29-30 with the participation of nearly 1,700 people.

Cavusoglu called the Syrian conflict "the worst humanitarian crisis since World War II” which led to "the emergence of a global threat."

He said that Turkey had suffered the most from terrorist organisations such as Daesh, Al Nusra Front and the PYD/YPG.

He added that Turkey-backed Free Syrian Army had cleared a 2,015 square kilometre territory in Syria from Daesh and eliminated 2,647 terrorists.

“Turkey spent $30 billion to meet the needs of 3.4 million Syrians seeking refuge in their northern neighbour. Free access to medical care, education, as well as the right to join the labour force have been extended to our Syrian guests to help them better integrate into their host society,” Cavusoglu said.

Cavusoglu added: “Almost 70,000 Syrians have returned from Turkey to the liberated areas.”

Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when Bashar al Assad's regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity.

Since then, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and more than 10 million others displaced, according to UN officials.

Source: AA