'Attack on Idlib to sabotage ongoing political process’

Tue 11 Sep 2018 13:54 GMT | 17:54 Local Time

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A possible attack on Syria’s northwestern province of Idlib will sabotage the ongoing political process and cause a serious crisis of confidence, the Turkish presidential spokesman said on Tuesday.

Ibrahim Kalin’s remarks came after a Cabinet meeting chaired by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the presidential complex, Anadolu reports.

Since the beginning of this month, at least 30 civilians have been killed in Idlib and Hama -- and dozens injured -- by airstrikes and attacks by the regime and Russian warplanes, according to the White Helmets civil defense agency.

The Syrian regime recently announced plans to launch a major military offensive in Idlib, which remains under the control of various armed opposition groups.

Last week, the UN warned that such an offensive would likely lead to the “worst humanitarian catastrophe of the 21st century”.

Kalin said Turkey expects all parties to make “constructive” contributions and agree on a political solution on Syria.

He urged the West including the U.S. to join hands in stopping a possible attack on Idlib. 

Earlier on Tuesday, Turkish Foreign Ministry said that the representatives of guarantor countries -- Turkey, Russia, and Iran – met UN Special Envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura on Sept. 10-11 in Geneva.

“During the meeting, they discussed the formation of a constitutional committee and its codes of practice which constitute an important step in the struggle of finding a political solution to the Syrian crisis," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement. 

US move on closing PLO office in Washington

On the U.S. administration’s recent decision to close the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) office in Washington, Kalin said that any solution, which does not recognize the will of Palestinians, is not plausible. 

He said that it is unacceptable for Palestinians to be exposed to isolation or an embargo for any reason. 

The U.S. move comes in ostensible retaliation for efforts by the Palestinian leadership to have crimes allegedly committed by Israel prosecuted by The Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC).


Speaking about the Turkish economy, Kalin said there was no panic and apparent turbulence will be over soon. 

The announcement of Medium Term Program in coming weeks will jot down a critical roadmap for the economy, he added. 

The Turkish lira has been losing its value against the U.S. dollar for the past several weeks after the U.S. president doubled tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminum.

The Turkish economy grew by 5.2 percent in the second quarter of this year compared with the same period last year, the country's statistical authority announced Monday.

Turkey topped the list among Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) member countries and came second among EU members who have so far announced their annual growth performances in the second quarter.




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