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Erdogan: Turkey won't allow terrorist corridor on its southern border


(MENAFN- AzerNews) By

Turkey attaches great importance to maintaining political unity and territorial integrity of Iraq, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in an interview with Trend, Azertac and APA.

'The developments in northern Iraq are of interest not only for Kurds, but also Arabs, Turkomans and representatives of other nationalities. Let's not forget that Iraq is not a Kurdish, Arab or Turkoman state, and Kirkuk and Mosul are not homeland of Kurds, he said.

'Holding the referendum, the Kurdish autonomy of Iraq blatantly violated international law and the Iraqi Constitution. Despite Turkey's warnings, unfortunately, it chose a different path and held a referendum. By this, it endangered peace and stability not only in Iraq but also in the region. The statement lately made by the Kurdish administration shows that they realized their mistake. We would like them to promptly take steps meeting our expectations. We are ready for any cooperation with the Iraqi government in the context of putting an end to the PKK's [Kurdistan Workers' Party] presence in Iraq. Those who mediate in the PKK terrorist organization's, which is trying to disturb public order and peace in Kirkuk, finding refuge in this region, are responsible for this.

Turkey welcomed the Iraqi government's statement saying that the Iraqi army will return Kirkuk and will not turn a blind eye to PKK's actions, according to Erdogan.

'Turkey will stand with the Iraqi government to ensure sustainable peace and stability in the country. Our belief that it is possible to end the conflict in Syria only by political means is immutable. By the Astana meeting and Geneva negotiations, we will continue strong support for the transitional political process aimed at Syria's development, he noted.

'Turkey played a decisive role in reaching the agreement as guarantor of opposition in the discussion process on the issue of a conflict-free zone in the Syrian Idlib. We tried to take into account the opinions and approaches of various groups in the region. We carried out an operation in Idlib to achieve a ceasefire. By this operation, as well as the Euphrates Shield operation that had been conducted earlier, we will continue providing security in Idlib. This demonstrated that we can take any action against those who threaten our security. We will not allow establishment of a terrorist corridor on our southern border, and will continue to do everything possible to resolve the Syrian conflict by political means, the Turkish president added.

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