ANKARA, December 1. /TASS/. Turkey and Russia have a common understanding that it is necessary to end hostilities in Syria and deliver humanitarian aid to Aleppo, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Thursday in Alanya where a meeting of the Russian-Turkish Joint Strategic Planning Group was held.
"Common efforts of Turkey and Russia will help achieve a ceasefire in Syria and ensure the delivery of humanitarian aid to Syria’s cities, above all, Aleppo. We have a common understanding with Russia of the need for a political transition in Syria on the principles of a ceasefire and preservation of Syria’s territorial integrity," Cavusoglu said.
The Turkish minister expressed the hope that "close cooperation with Russia will yield results in the near future." We may have disagreements on the Bashar al-Assad issue, that’s a natural thing. However, we do agree that it is necessary to put an end to hostilities and begin the political process in Syria," he said.
Concerning Operation Euphrates Shield launched by Turkey in Syria on August 24, Cavusoglu said that "its objectives are perfectly clear." "We want to completely cleanse northern Syria of the Islamic State group and Jabhat al-Nusra (both outlawed in Russia - TASS). However, without the political transition they will be replaced by new terrorist organizations. A political solution is required," Cavusoglu said.
On Russia’s contacts with Syrian opposition
Russia’s talks with the armed opposition in Syria are natural and useful for resolving the conflict, Cavusoglu said.
"I think the talks between Russia and Syria’s opposition are a natural process. The contacts are going to be useful from the point of view of a search for solutions on the basis of unity and reconciliation and we support them," he said.
Besides, Cavusoglu said that the solution to the Syria crisis "demands actions based on principles of unity of opinions within Syria and the country’s territorial integrity."
"It could be achieved if no-one is excluded from negotiations. Given we are able to involve all the sides in the work, a comprehensive and permanent decision will be found," he said.
Iraq has faced a negative situation and a similar one should not be allowed in Syria, he is certain.
"After the United States had withdrawn from Iraq, the government capable of uniting all forces did not come to power. Now Iraq is paying the price for it," the Turkish foreign minister said.