Erdogan suggests Putin to hold emergency summit on Syria
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said about his readiness to hold talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
According to him, such talks can be held in Sochi or Moscow.
"Tomorrow morning our delegation will go to Moscow. Foreign ministers, intelligence, and defence ministers will discuss the situation from all angles there," he said. "After that, I will hold phone talks with Putin. My visit to Sochi or Moscow is also possible," Sputnik cited Erdogan as saying.
Erdogan called the Syrian military’s entry into Manbij a "psychological act."
"I spoke with my friends, with intelligence, etc., about an hour ago and there is nothing certain at this moment," the AP cited him as saying.
Erdogan also argued that Turkey has been working for Syria’s territorial integrity and said Turkey’s goal remains the defeat of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, or the YPG. Turkey considers it a terrorist group linked to an insurgency within its own borders.
"If terror organizations leave, then there is no work left for us anyway," Erdogan said, noting that Turkey’s military was continuing its preparations.
At the same time, Moscow welcomed the reports that the Syrian government troops have gained control of Manbij earlier held by Kurdish formations, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
"No doubt, this is a positive step towards stabilizing the situation," the spokesman noted. The expansion of the zone of the Syrian government troops’ control "is a positive trend," Peskov said.
The deputy head of the Council of the Russian Diplomats Association, Andrey Baklanov, speaking to Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that the Syrian crisis settlement is at a turning point now. "Manbij’s strategic importance is extremely high, as the city is located close to Aleppo and the Turkish border. This is a link between different areas under the control of the Kurds,” he warned.
"I think that the only way to prevent contradictions from escalating into a new conflict with the use of military equipment is to relieve Turkish concerns about Kurdish military's actions," Andrei Baklanov stressed
"A lot depends on whether we can succeed in converting the Sochi and Astana summits, as well as the established close relations with Turkey, into the possibility of addressing these Ankara's concerns and preventing the growth of military confrontation in the north of Syria," the diplomat added.
"If we talk about Russia's position on Manbij, we consider the main role in the task of confronting ISIS was played by the Syrian government and elected president of the country. We support the government. On the other hand, we realize that the crisis and the civil war is far from completing, which forces us to seek common ground with other parties, including Turkey," Andrei Baklanov concluded.