Turkey says it has capacity to create ‘safe zone’ in Syria alone

The Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, above, says they are on the same page with Russia, except on the issue of Al-Assad staying in office. (AFP)
Updated 24 January 2019
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Turkey says it has capacity to create ‘safe zone’ in Syria alone

Turkey has the capacity to create a "safe zone" in Syria on its own but will not exclude the United States, Russia or others if they want to cooperate, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Thursday.

Speaking to broadcaster A Haber, he said Ankara and Moscow were on the same page regarding a Syrian political solution aside from the issue of whether President Bashar al-Assad should stay in office. He added that Turkey was in indirect contact with the Syrian government, without providing details.


Saudi Arabia, the UAE, UK and US hold Yemen talks in London

Updated 55 min 11 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia, the UAE, UK and US hold Yemen talks in London

  • Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir took part in the meeting of the Yemen Quartet
  • Meeting discussed how best to support the efforts of UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths

LONDON: Saudi Arabia and the UAE met in London on Friday to discuss with the UK and US the next steps in the Yemen peace process.

Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir took part in the meeting of the Yemen Quartet.

The UK Foreign Office said the meeting discussed how best to support the efforts of UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths.

A ceasefire between Yemeni government troops and Houthi militants was agreed for the key port of Hodeidah in December during talks in Sweden. But the implementation of the truce has stalled and the Arab Coalition supporting Yemeni forces has accused the Iran-backed Houthis of dozens of violations. The coalition includes Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

“I called this meeting so that we keep doing everything we can to move forward on the hard road to peace in Yemen,” UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said. “This is a horrendous conflict and it is taking too long to turn the ceasefire agreed in Stockholm into a durable path to peace.”

The meeting was also attended by the UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nayan, and David Satterfield, a US acting assistant secretary of state.