Qa-19, 28 February 2018, Statement Of The Spokesperson Of The Ministry Of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Hami Aksoy, In Response To A Question Regarding The Reference Made By The Spokesperson Of The Us Department Of State To Turkey In Relation To The Un Security Council Resolution 2401 On The Humanitarian Situation In Syria

Republic Of Turkey Ministry Of Foreign Affairs 28.02.2018

The focus of the UN Security Council Resolution 2401 is the cessation of the regime’s attacks that have caused the slaughter of hundreds of civilians within a week and the destruction of civilian facilities such as hospitals and schools as well as providing humanitarian access to the people condemned to starvation by the regime’s siege policy.

In response to the worsening humanitarian situation in Syria, particularly in Eastern Ghouta, the resolution demands the cessation of hostilities without delay and calls for a humanitarian ceasefire to become effective at least for 30 days in order to allow access to emergency humanitarian aid and medical evacuations.

In the resolution, Afrin is not cited among the areas where the humanitarian situation is considered to be alarming. This is due to the fact that what is occurring in Afrin is not a conflict which does not differentiate between civilians and terrorists as meant by the resolution, but a combat against terrorist organizations which target the integrity of Syria and the national security of Turkey.

Turkey is not a party to the conflicts in Syria. Turkey exercises its right to self-defense on the basis of Article 51 of the UN Charter through Operation Olive Branch carried out in Afrin.

Against this backdrop, the statement of the Spokesperson of the US State Department suggesting that Turkey should thoroughly read the UN Security Council Resolution is completely groundless and it reveals that the Spokesperson either fails to grasp the focus of the resolution or intends to distort it.

Implementing the resolution without distorting its objective or targets should be the priority of all sides. Assuming that the resolution has been adopted with a view to protecting innocent people, utmost precaution must be exercised to avoid any distorted or double-standard interpretations which may be perceived as defending terrorists.

Within this framework, we recommend the US to focus on stopping the regime’s attacks on innocent civilians instead of making statements that support terrorists.

Turkey, as it has done so far, will continue to do its part for alleviating the suffering of the Syrian people.

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