Counterterrorism crucial dimension in settlement of Syrian crisis: Turkish UN envoy

Counterterrorism crucial dimension in settlement of Syrian crisis: Turkish UN envoy

'Türkiye will continue to fight terrorism in Syria in all its forms and manifestations,' Sedat Onal says

By Iclal Turan

WASHINGTON (AA) - Counterterrorism is a crucial dimension in settling the Syrian crisis, Türkiye's UN ambassador said Wednesday as the Security Council gathered to discuss the situation in Syria.

"It must be a priority for all of us to commit to the protection of Syria’s political unity and territorial integrity. Elimination of threats to neighboring countries is also of critical importance," said Sedat Onal.

Noting the legitimate right of self-defense emanating from the UN Charter, Onal said: "Türkiye will continue to fight terrorism in Syria in all its forms and manifestations and disrupt the destabilizing and separatist agendas of the likes of DAESH and PKK/YPG."

The envoy shared Türkiye's concerns about the recent cease-fire violations in Idlib, and said, "Any escalation has to be avoided to pre-empt new humanitarian tragedies."

Answering to references given about Türkiye's role in hosting refugees, Onal said: "My country has been generously sheltering millions of Syrians for more than a decade and remains to be the world’s largest refugee hosting country."

"Facilitation of voluntary, safe and dignified return of the Syrian refugees should be an integral part of our overall efforts to settle the Syrian crisis. Therefore, we need to increase our engagement for the creation of conditions that are conducive for the fulfillment of these criteria," he said.

"As we discussed in this chamber two days ago, the unimpeded delivery of the UN cross-border humanitarian assistance remains vital for millions of people in need in northwest Syria," he added.

UN Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen told the Security Council about the need to redouble efforts to secure sufficient humanitarian resources.

“We need support for all pillars, including enhancing early recovery in the Humanitarian Response Plan and for refugees and host countries,” said Pedersen.

“It remains critical that any adverse effects of sanctions that could aggravate the predicament of ordinary Syrians be avoided and mitigated,” he added.

“It is essential that the UN and its partners continue providing cross-border humanitarian assistance, at the necessary scale and in a principled manner that allows engagement with all parties, for the purposes of seeking humanitarian access, and in a manner that safeguards the UN’s operational independence,” he said.




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