Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said lines of communication exist between Turkish and Syrian intelligence open periodically, in accordance with “the national interest.”
“At the moment there is no political contact with Syria, but as our president (Recep Tayyip Erdogan) has said, Turkish intelligence units maintain periodic contact with their Syrian counterparts,” Kalin told Turkey’s Haberturk TV.
“Our intelligence units are negotiating with their Syrian counterparts in furtherance of our national interests,” he said.
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Kalin noted that it is “not easy” to convince Syrian refugees to return to Syria; he said that there will be no agreement reached with Damascus on this issue.
“These people fled the war and suffered severe hardship,” he said.
Kalin said that Ankara is making efforts “to create a safe area in Syria and an environment where these people can salvage their lives: in Afrin, Idleb, Tal Abyad, and Ras al-Ain.”
“We all know that these people have to come back [to Syria] eventually, but we want this to occur without causing a humanitarian tragedy.”
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.