Erdogan: We will not stand idly by

Erdogan: We will not stand idly by

Tehran _ Agencies

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Friday night that the Idlib issue should be resolved without tragedies and new problems, and abide by the spirit of the Agreement on the reduction of areas of escalation, stressing that his country will not stand idly by over the crisis.

In a Twitter tweet, Erdogan added that Turkey would not stand idly by and would not be a partner if the world would ignore the killing of tens of thousands to support the Syrian regime´s agenda.

The Turkish president wrote the tweets after a summit in Tehran with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Russian Vladimir Putin.

The summit coincided with the willingness of the Syrian regime and its Russian and Iranian allies to launch a large-scale military campaign to restore Idlib province, the most important remaining areas in the hands of the armed opposition.

Idlib is part of the so-called escalation zones, which the parties to the conflict are committed to easing and controlling their hostilities under an agreement signed in Astana in May May 2017.

The Turkish president stressed that resorting to tactics that flout civilian lives will "serve the objectives of terrorists."

"If the world is to ignore the killing of tens of thousands of innocent people to promote the interests of the regime, we will not stand idly by and not participate in such a game," he said.

Erdogan called for the preservation of the Astana principles and stressed their importance in "finding a lasting political solution to the Syrian crisis."

"It is necessary not to impose the fait accompli in the arena under the guise of fighting terrorism and opposing separatist agendas aimed at weakening the territorial integrity of Syria and the national security of neighboring countries," he said.

He noted that Turkey has striven from the beginning to stop the bloodshed in Syria and "protected the Syrian brothers without any discrimination."

"Today, as in the past, we don´t want any of our Syrian brothers to get hurt," he said.

With regard to the trilateral summit in Tehran, the Turkish president said, "We have clearly stated that methods that disregard the safety of the lives of Syrian civilians will have no benefit other than serving terrorists."

"As a country hosting more than 3.5 million Syrians, we will continue to work to ensure that refugees return in a voluntary and safe manner, and that a lasting solution to the Syrian conflict is found within a common rule for all parties," Erdogan said.

For his part, UN envoy to Syria sadedication de Mistura said that Turkish-Russian cooperation is very important on Idlib.

The UN envoy warned that if the battle of Idlib took place, it would be bloody and would witness new levels of terror.

He added that Syrian regime forces and their allies are approaching more and more from Idlib, although they are from areas of reduced escalation.

The UN envoy stressed that any use of chemical weapons in Idlib would never be acceptable and should not happen again in Syria, noting that this is the position of UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.