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Iraq vows to secure Sinjar boarder region, after Turkish warning

29 March, 2018, 01:33 | Author: Priscilla Morrison
  • Turkey said northern Syrian town of Tal Rifaat would be the next target of its cross-border campaign

So there was a summit meeting on Monday in Varna, Bulgaria, attended by Erdogan, European Council President Donald Tusk, European Commission President Jean-Claude Jüncker, as well as Bulgaria's Prime Minister Boyko Borissov. "I raised all of our concerns".

Tusk said improved relations would depend on progress on issues including the rule of law and press freedom as well as Syria. Today's EU-Turkey meeting reaffirms the importance both sides give to our relationship.

The conflict between Turkey and the PKK, which demands the creation of an independent Kurdish state, has continued for more than 30 years and has claimed more than 40,000 lives.

Stating that Turkey was supporting almost 40,000 civilians in 106 locations in the Afrin region, Bozdag said Turkish organizations such as the Turkish Red Crescent, the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) and the Diyanet Foundation continued to provide humanitarian aid.

Mr Erdogan also said that Turkey would do "what is necessary" if the Iraqi operation in Sinjar failed. We understand Turkey's need to deal effectively with its security after the attempted coup and the terrorist attacks it has suffered.

He also said that while the European Union understands Turkey's need to deal effectively with its security, it is concerned that some of the methods used, undermine fundamental freedoms and the rule of law in Turkey.

"We encourage Turkey to work with the Council of Europe, of which Turkey has been a member longer than most European Union member states".




"We reconfirm our readiness to keep up the dialogue and conversation and work together to overcome current difficulties with a view to unleashing the potential of our partnership", Tusk said.

The EU had promised to provide €6 billion to Turkey, for humanitarian assistance to Syrian migrants living in Turkey, in two separate €3 billion payments.

"EU membership continues to be our strategic goal", Erdogan told reporters before departing for the summit.

Juncker said it had been a meeting with "mixed feelings but not mixed messages".

Two Czech nationals were sentenced last year to six years and three months behind bars in Turkey on charges of fighting for the YPG in Syria.

Another recent disagreement is related to the war in Syria, and to Turkey's Operation Olive Branch, whose objective is to take control of Syria's northern border city of Afrin.

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