Foreign minister: Turkey aiming for nationwide cease-fire in Syria before new year

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Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu

While Russia has yet to confirm, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on Thursday that Turkey aims to put into effect a nationwide cease-fire in Syria, along with Russia as the guarantor.

Following the report of an agreement on a cease-fire by the state-run Anadolu news agency that would have been effective as of last night, Çavuşoğlu’s latest remark revealed that no such agreement has yet been reached.

Çavuşoğlu stated that all foreign fighter groups in Syria including the Iranian-backed Hezbollah would have to leave the country once the cease-fire is implemented.

“We are on the verge of an agreement with Russia. If everything goes well, we will make this agreement. Russia will be the guarantor of the regime,” Turkey’s foreign minister stated on pro-government news outlet A Haber.

Yesterday, the spokesperson for the Russian presidency said when asked by the press that he was unable to respond to such a question as of yet.

Dmitry Peskov told reporters that he did not yet have enough information on the issue , while Turkey’s official news agency reported the news of a nationwide cease-fire based on the statements of an anonymous Turkish official.

After talks with Russia and Iran last week, Turkey had declared a significant change in its Syria policy. While Turkey for years insisted on the removal of embattled Syrian president Bashar al Assad, last week Russia announced that Turkey agrees that regime change is not the number one priority in Syria, but fight against terrorism.

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