Turkey PM Yildirim hints at mending ties with Syria

Photo: AFP


Turkey has said it wants to develop good ties with Syria – in an apparent reversal of its policy towards its war-stricken neighbour, the BBC reports.

Turkey has long said the only solution for regional peace would be for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to go.

But Turkish PM Binali Yildirim insisted good ties with Syria were needed “for the fight against terrorism” and for stability in the region.

Turkey has recently moved to end rifts with both Russia and Israel.

Turkey-Syria diplomatic ties were severed after the Syrian conflict began in 2011 and Turkey has since argued that only Mr Assad’s departure could bring stability.

But Mr Yildirim said in comments broadcast live on television: “It is our greatest and irrevocable goal: developing good relations with Syria and Iraq, and all our neighbours that surround the Mediterranean and the Black Sea.

“We normalised relations with Russia and Israel. I’m sure we will normalise relations with Syria as well. For the fight against terrorism to succeed, stability needs to return to Syria and Iraq.”

Since taking office in May, Mr Yildirim has repeatedly said that Turkey needs to “increase its friends and decrease its enemies.”

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