ANKARA 

In a phone call with his Russian counterpart, Turkey’s president on Monday reiterated Ankara’s willingness to keep doing its part for peace in Ukraine.

Turkiye is ready to play a role in a possible observation mechanism after first meeting with representatives of Russia, Ukraine, and UN in Istanbul, Recep Tayyip Erdogan told Vladimir Putin, according to a statement from Turkiye’s Communications Directorate.

Erdogan also said there is a need for steps to minimize the negative effects of the war and reestablish a groundwork for peace.

Also touching on developments in Syria, where attacks by the terror group YPG/PKK on civilians and neighboring Turkiye continue, the Turkish president stressed that the regions along the border liberated from terrorists must be made safe and secure.

Turkiye borders Syria and Iraq to its south, and has worked to eliminate existing terrorist bases and prevent new ones there that would threaten its national security and the safety of locals across its borders.

Since 2016, Ankara has launched a trio of successful anti-terror operations across its border in northern Syria to prevent the formation of a terror corridor and enable the peaceful settlement of residents: Euphrates Shield (2016), Olive Branch (2018), and Peace Spring (2019).

In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Turkiye, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Turkiye, the US, and EU – has been responsible for the deaths of over 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants. The YPG is the PKK’s Syrian offshoot.

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