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Russia calls to investigate reports of Kurds’ rights violations by Turkey — FM

March 16, 2016, 15:49 UTC+3

The Russian foreign minister also pointed out the ongoing missile and artillery attacks of Syrian territory in the areas traditionally inhabited by Kurds

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Sergey Lavrov

Sergey Lavrov

© Alexander Scherbak/TASS

MOSCOW, March 16. /TASS/. Moscow urges to investigate reports of violations of Kurds’ rights by Turkey, the fire attacks of Syrian territory, and calls for tough international response, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Wednesday.

"It is necessary to investigate any reports, all the more so documented, of gross and massive violations of human rights and international humanitarian law," he said. "There are appropriate international procedures for that. The main thing is to ensure that they are used impartially and objectively. This is our principled stance."

"As for the interim results of your appeals [of Russia's RT TV channel regarding Turkey’s actions in the Kurdish areas of the country - TASS] to international human rights groups from where noncommittal replies came, we ask you to forward us a copy of your queries and replies to them so that we could form our judgement," the minister said.

"No less serious are cases when the same happens with violating other countries’ sovereignty and territorial integrity," Russia’s top diplomat went on to say. "Unfortunately, Turkey is too mentioned in this context. We know what happens with the Turkish armed forces’ actions in Iraq, what happens with the fire attacks of the Kurdish militia positions in Syria from Turkish territory."

"There was a terrible terrorist attack in Ankara not so long ago, in connection with which the Russian president offered his condolences to the victims’ families and friends and expressed solidarity with the Turkish people," Lavrov said. "However, on the same day the Turkish authorities said the Kurds were the perpetrators of this terrorist attack, there were no reports of any investigation. The Turkish side began to use this as a pretext to justify the ongoing missile and artillery attacks of Syrian territory in the areas traditionally inhabited by Kurds."

According to Lavrov, all this requires tough and clear response from the international community, "because Turkey’s actions undermine the efforts that are being made (around the Syrian settlement - TASS), including with the approval of the UN Security Council, on the issues of the ceasefire, on delivering humanitarian cargo, on the beginning of the political process."

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