Situation in N. Syria must be urgently normalized to avoid another humanitarian crisis, says OSCE PA President with Speaker of Turkish Parliament

Turkey meeting photoGeorge Tsereteli and Roberto Montella meet with Mustafa Şentop on the margins of the IPU Assembly in Belgrade, 16 Oct. 2019COPENHAGEN, 17 October 2019 – OSCE Parliamentary Assembly President George Tsereteli and Secretary General Roberto Montella met Wednesday in Belgrade with the President of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, Mustafa Şentop, for wide-ranging discussions. Tsereteli noted Turkey’s important role in the OSCE region and underlined the growing international concern over its military operation in northeastern Syria. Tsereteli urged Turkey to pursue its objectives with more peaceful means instead of large-scale military action.

Notwithstanding the complex issues involved, particularly terrorism and border control, President Tsereteli emphasized the need to normalize the situation in northeastern Syria and expressed hope for a quick end to the military operations. Şentop provided information on Turkey’s actions in Syria, stressed that the military operations are targeted against terrorists, and affirmed that Ankara’s optimal objective is for Syria to have full control over its territory but unfortunately this is not the case today.

“Turkey is a valued member of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly and important contributor to the OSCE, particularly in relation to migration issues and counter-terrorism efforts, but it must be stressed that military operations in northern Syria should be completed as soon as possible,” said President Tsereteli. “Negotiations should commence for a solution to all the conflicts for the sake of the civilian population. We welcome the involvement of international leaders in this process and hope for meaningful discussions that avoid double standards. Life must be normalized, civilians must be protected and a humanitarian catastrophe must be prevented.”

He stressed the significant threat posed by ISIS terrorists and underlined the possibility of increased migration flows in relation to the fighting in northern Syria, as well as economic repercussions. “Turkey now assumes the responsibilities involved, including when it comes to ISIS prisoners in northern Syria,” Tsereteli said. “Renewed efforts at a peaceful solution are important and the OSCE PA will do its part to support these efforts.”

OSCE PA Secretary General Roberto Montella called for collective responsibility, noting that the OSCE PA does not use double standards in affirming its values and that Turkey, as a participating State of the OSCE, deserves equal treatment. He noted the challenges that Turkey has faced in recent years in relation to the failed coup attempt in 2016, the terrorist attacks on its territory and its hosting of millions of Syrian refugees, but stressed that it is also expected to comply with international obligations.

For video of the meeting in Belgrade, please click here.

Photos are available on the OSCE PA's Flickr page.



Nat Parry

Head of Communications and Press

Office: +45 33 37 80 55
Mobile: +45 60 10 81 77
Email: [email protected]

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