Moscow, Ankara Face 2 Obstacles in Implementing Adana Deal

Friday, 22 February, 2019 - 07:15
London - Ibrahim Hamidi

Two main obstacles are hindering Russia and Turkey in implementing the 1998 Adana Pact, mainly designed to allow the Turkish Army penetrate 5 kilometers inside northern Syria to pursue “terrorists,” Western diplomatic sources told Asharq Al-Awsat.

Russian President Vladimir Putin recently proposed to his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan to activate the Pact as an alternative to a plan reached between Turkey and the US on setting up a 32 kilometer safe zone along the Syrian-Turkish border following the American pullout.

“Two obstacles are hindering the implementation of the deal. First, Turkey is asking that its forces penetrate into 28 to 32 kilometers inside northern Syria as agreed with Washington, and not only five kilometers as proposed by Russia,” the sources said.

Also, Moscow insists, under the deal, on building a political relationship between Ankara and Damascus. But, Turkey refuses a “political normalization,” and instead calls for “security cooperation” with the Syrian regime.

The Adana agreement, which was originally designed in 1998 to help restore bilateral relations between Ankara and Damascus, provides close security cooperation between the two countries, including telephone links between senior security officials and allows the Syrian forces to deploy along the Turkish borders under the guarantee of the Russian police.

Separately, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said on Thursday that UN's Syria envoy Geir Pedersen insists on replacing six people in the list of Syrian constitutional committee members.

“I am referring in particular to the third part of this committee, which is made up of representatives of the so-called civil society... We are talking about the fact that, according to representatives of the UN, it is necessary to find a replacement for six candidates who were initially put on the list," Bogdanov said.

Western officials and Syrian opposition members said Pederson, who is expected to brief the UN Security Council on the situation in Syria in the coming few days and visit Brussels, is attached to carrying out his mission under Resolution 2254, discussing the issue of “governance,” and establishing a constitutional committee that is able to operate in a “neutral environment.”

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