Pullout of Kurdish forces in northern Syria complete: Moscow

Syrians walk through a market in the Kurdish-majority city of Qamishli, in Syria's northeastern Hasakeh province, on October 29, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 29 October 2019

Pullout of Kurdish forces in northern Syria complete: Moscow

MOSCOW: Russia said Tuesday that Kurdish forces in northern Syria had withdrawn from areas along Turkey’s border as planned under a deal between Moscow and Ankara.
“The withdrawal of armed units from territory where a security corridor should be created has been completed ahead of time,” Russian news agencies quoted Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu as saying on a visit to Armenia.
“Syrian border guards and our military police have been deployed there,” Shoigu told his Armenian counterpart Davit Tonoyan.
A deadline for the withdrawal had been set at 6:00 p.m. local time (1500 GMT) on Tuesday.
Last week Russia and Turkey signed a deal for Russian military police and Syrian border guards to “facilitate the removal” of Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) from within 30 kilometers (18 miles) of the border.
The Turkey-Russia agreement was reached after marathon talks between President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and President Vladimir Putin in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.


Turkey, Greece agree to resume talks to resolve disputes

Updated 22 September 2020

Turkey, Greece agree to resume talks to resolve disputes

  • Erdogan called for a regional conference that would gather all sides involved in the dispute — including Turkish Cypriots
  • The two neighboring NATO members have been locked in a tense standoff over energy exploitation rights

ANKARA, Turkey: Turkey and Greece are ready to resume talks in a bid to overcome a dispute over maritime boundaries and rights to exploit oil and gas resources, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s office said Tuesday.
The statement followed his video conference meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and European Council President Charles Michel.
During the meeting, Erdogan called for a regional conference that would gather all sides involved in the dispute — including Turkish Cypriots — and said the “momentum” for dialogue should be protected,” according to the statement.
The two neighboring NATO members have been locked in a tense standoff over energy exploitation rights in an area between Turkey’s southern coast, several Greek islands and the war-divided island of Cyprus. Turkey sent a research vessel into the disputed waters this summer.
Following mediation efforts by Germany and others, Turkey pulled back the research vessel to port and both countries eased their naval presence and halted military exercises, paving the way for a dialogue.
It was not clear when and how the talks would begin. Erdogan told Merkel and Michel that “steps to be taken by Greece” would determine the course of the talks.
Greek-Turkish talks to resolve disputes were last held in 2016.
The Turkish leader also said he hoped that the next European Union summit would breathe new life into Turkish-EU ties, including allowing Turkish citizens visa-free travel rights to Europe and sealing a new agreement on migration.
EU members Greece and Cyprus had been pushing for EU sanctions against Turkey at the Sept. 24-25 summit meeting to due Turkey’s search for energy inside Cyprus’ economic zone. But the summit has been postponed for a week because Michel has gone into quarantine after a close collaborator was diagnosed with COVID-19.