U.S.-Turkey statement on pausing Syria incursion – full text
Turkey and the United States have agreed a five-day pause to Turkey’s military offensive against Kurdish militants in northern Syria.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence issued a joint statement outlining the accord in Turkey’s capital Ankara late on Thursday.
"The Administration laud’s President Erdoğan’s willingness to step forward, agree to a ceasefire, and take this opportunity for resolution," the White House said. "The two governments are committed to a peaceful safe zone in northeast Syria."
The U.S.-Turkey deal is designed to make a cessation of hostilities permanent and meet Ankara’s demands to establish a safe-zone inside Syria’s border with Turkey. The United States has agreed to oversee the withdrawal of the Kurdish-dominated Free Syrian Army (SDF) from the area and to desist from widening a set of economic sanctions against Turkey imposed on Monday.
Here follows the full text of the statement:
- The U.S. and Turkey reaffirm their relationship as fellow members of NATO. The U.S. understands Turkey's legitimate security concerns on Turkey's southern border.
- Turkey and the U.S. agree that the conditions on the ground, northeast Syria in particular, necessitate closer coordination on the basis of common interests.
- Turkey and the U.S. remain committed to protecting NATO territories and NATO populations against all threats with the solid understanding of "one for all and all for one".
- The two countries reiterate their pledge to uphold human life, human rights, and the protection of religious and ethnic communities.
- Turkey and the U.S. are committed to D-ISIS/DAESH activities in northeast Syria. This will include coordination on detention facilities and internally displaced persons from formerly ISIS/DAESH-controlled areas, as appropriate.
- Turkey and the U.S. agree that counter-terrorism operations must target only terrorists and their hideouts, shelters, emplacements, weapons, vehicles and equipment.
- The Turkish side expressed its commitment to ensure safety and well-being of residents of all population centers in the safe zone controlled by the Turkish Forces (safe zone) and reiterated that maximum care will be exercised in order not to cause harm to civilians and civilian infrastructure.
- Both countries reiterate their commitment to the political unity and territorial integrity of Syria and UN-led political process, which aims at ending the Syrian conflict in accordance with UNSCR 2254.
- The two sides agreed on the continued importance and functionality of a safe zone in order to address the national security concerns of Turkey, to include the re-collection of YPG heavy weapons and the disablement of their fortifications and all other fighting positions.
- The safe zone will be primarily enforced by the Turkish Armed Forces and the two sides will increase their cooperation in all dimensions of its implementation.
- The Turkish side will pause Operation Peace Spring in order to allow the withdrawal of YPG from the safe zone within 120 hours. Operation Peace Spring will be halted upon completion of this withdrawal.
- Once Operation Peace Spring is paused, the U.S. agrees not to pursue further imposition of sanctions under the Executive Order of October 14, 2019, Blocking Property and Suspending Entry of Certain Persons Contributing to the Situation in Syria, and will work and consult with Congress, as appropriate, to underline the progress being undertaken to achieve peace and security in Syria, in accordance with UNSCR 2254. Once Operation Peace Spring is halted as per paragraph 11 the current sanctions under the aforementioned Executive Order shall be lifted.
- Both parties are committed to work together to implement all the goals outlined in this Statement.