Press Release Regarding The Exchange Of The Injured People From Al Zabadani In The Northwest Of Damascus, And Al-fu’ah And Kafr Haya In The Northeast Of Idlib

Republic Of Turkey Ministry Of Foreign Affairs 29.12.2015

No: 317, 29 December 2015

During the course of a day-long operation yesterday (December 28), Turkey facilitated the safe exchange of the injured people together with their accompanying family members from Al Zabadani in the northwest of Damascus, and Al-Fu’ah and Kafr Haya in the northeast of Idlib, who had long been besieged by opposing sides in Syria.

In this regard, Turkey has rendered logistic support and the safe undertaking of the transfer of 126 injured people from Al-Zabadani into Lebanon and thereinafter back to Syria via Turkey, and 338 people from Al-Fu’ah and Kafr Haya into Turkey and thereinafter to Lebanon.

The injured and their companions have been transported to Lebanon and Turkey by aircraft provided by Turkish Airlines.

The UN had asked Turkey's assistance on this issue a while ago. Turkey, not being a party in the talks or to the relevant agreement, did not let the UN's call go unanswered, and it provided all the help and contribution for this operation to be realized through the mutual consent of the parties . With maximum effort and due diligence for the exchange to take place in a functional and safe manner, Turkey rendered the required coordination with the UN and Lebanese officials.

Through provision of support to this exchange process, Turkey on the one hand aimed at addressing the suffering of the Syrian people to some extent and showed once again that it does not discriminate between any ethnic or religious group in Syria on the other.

Instead of addressing the pain of the Syrians on the basis of individuals, families or districts, it is our hope that the peace, tranquility and stability be reinstated in Syra through a permanent political solution as soon as possible and that the Syrian people begin their march towards a bright future in unity. Turkey will always give strongest support to efforts to that end.

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