Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Full text of the Sochi Memorandum on Northern Syria signed by Putin and Erdogan

    Tuesday, October 22, 2019   No comments
The full text of the memorandum of understanding reached by the two countries, Russia and Turkey, related to Northern Syria. This version of the memorandum was provided to the media by the Turkish foreign ministry.
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 "President of the Republic of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin agreed on the following points:

1. The two sides reiterate their commitment to the preservation of the political unity and territorial integrity of Syria and the protection of national security of Turkey.

2. They emphasise their determination to combat terrorism in all forms and manifestations and to disrupt separatist agendas in the Syrian territory.

3. In this framework, the established status quo in the current Operation Peace Spring area covering Tel Abyad and [Ras al-Ain] with a depth of 32km (20 miles) will be preserved.

4. Both sides reaffirm the importance of the Adana Agreement. The Russian Federation will facilitate the implementation of the Adana Agreement in the current circumstances.

5. Starting 12.00 noon of October 23, 2019, Russian military police and Syrian border guards will enter the Syrian side of the Turkish-Syrian border, outside the area of Operation Peace Spring, to facilitate the removal of YPG elements and their weapons to the depth of 30km (19 miles) from the Turkish-Syrian border, which should be finalized in 150 hours. At that moment, joint Russian-Turkish patrols will start in the west and the east of the area of Operation Peace Spring with a depth of 10km (six miles), except Qamishli city.

6. All YPG elements and their weapons will be removed from Manbij and Tal Rifat.

7. Both sides will take necessary measures to prevent infiltrations of terrorist elements.

8. Joint efforts will be launched to facilitate the return of refugees in a safe and voluntary manner.

9. A joint monitoring and verification mechanism will be established to oversee and coordinate the implementation of this memorandum.

10. The two sides will continue to work to find a lasting political solution to the Syrian conflict within Astana Mechanism and will support the activity of the Constitutional Committee."

Friday, October 18, 2019

Full text of Turkey, US statement on northeast Syria

    Friday, October 18, 2019   No comments
U.S.-Turkey statement on pausing Syria incursion – full text

  1.     The US and Turkey reaffirm their relationship as fellow members of NATO. The US understands Turkey's legitimate security concerns on Turkey's southern border.
  2.     Turkey and the US agree that the conditions on the ground, northeast Syria in particular, necessitate closer coordination on the basis of common interests.
  3.     Turkey and the US remain committed to protecting NATO territories and NATO populations against all threats with the solid understanding of "one for all and all for one".
  4.     The two countries reiterate their pledge to uphold human life, human rights, and the protection of religious and ethnic communities.
  5.     Turkey and the US are committed to D-ISIS/DAESH activities in northeast Syria. This will include coordination on detention facilities and internally displaced persons from formerly ISIS/DAESH-controlled areas, as appropriate.
  6.     Turkey and the US agree that counter-terrorism operations must target only terrorists and their hideouts, shelters, emplacements, weapons, vehicles and equipment.
  7.     The Turkish side expressed its commitment to ensure safety and well-being of residents of all population centers in the safe zone controlled by the Turkish Forces (safe zone) and reiterated that maximum care will be exercised in order not to cause harm to civilians and civilian infrastructure.
  8.     Both countries reiterate their commitment to the political unity and territorial integrity of Syria and UN-led political process, which aims at ending the Syrian conflict in accordance with UNSCR 2254.
  9.     The two sides agreed on the continued importance and functionality of a safe zone in order to address the national security concerns of Turkey, to include the re-collection of YPG heavy weapons and the disablement of their fortifications and all other fighting positions.
  10.     The safe zone will be primarily enforced by the Turkish Armed Forces and the two sides will increase their cooperation in all dimensions of its implementation.
  11.     The Turkish side will pause Operation Peace Spring in order to allow the withdrawal of YPG from the safe zone within 120 hours. Operation Peace Spring will be halted upon completion of this withdrawal.
  12.     Once Operation Peace Spring is paused, the US agrees not to pursue further imposition of sanctions under the Executive Order of October 14, 2019, Blocking Property and Suspending Entry of Certain Persons Contributing to the Situation in Syria, and will work and consult with Congress, as appropriate, to underline the progress being undertaken to achieve peace and security in Syria, in accordance with UNSCR 2254. Once Operation Peace Spring is halted as per paragraph 11 the current sanctions under the aforementioned Executive Order shall be lifted.
  13.     Both parties are committed to work together to implement all the goals outlined in this Statement.
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