Dealing with tense situations of foreign policy between nations with cultures far apart takes statesmanship if the appearances and successes of today’s talks in Sochi are to be judged.
“I would like to express my hope that the level of Russian-Turkish relations that has been reached over the recent period will play a role of its own in settling all complicated issues that have taken shape in the [Syrian] region today and will make it possible to find answers to all, even very difficult, questions in the interests of both Turkey and Russia, as well as in the interests of all countries in the region,” said Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin in a greeting to his counterpart from the Republic of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
by Katie Alsop
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The actual Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) Verbatim
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 emphasize 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 Ayn with a depth of 32 km 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 30 km 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 10 km, 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.