US, Russia want Turkish-Syrian border sealed: Russia FM

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Rest of World
Friday, 04 December 2015

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says Moscow and Washington agree that the Turkish borders with Syria and Iraq must be closed as a key measure in fighting against the Takfiri Daesh terror group.

He made the comments on Thursday after a meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry on the sidelines of the annual Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Ministerial Council meeting in Belgrade, Serbia.

Lavrov said the two discussed the issue of combating Daesh, adding Kerry agreed with him that “closing of the Turkish-Syrian border and the Turkish-Iraqi border, as all this is interconnected, is among the most urgent measures.”

The US partners have an understanding that this step is required, the Russian top diplomat said, describing the Kurdish forces as allies in this issue and also in the fight against Daesh.

Lavrov said the closure of the borders can be done “as part of comprehensive efforts of all who work on the ground and it is to be backed by aerial support.”

The remarks came after Russia’s Defense Ministry said Moscow had evidence indicating the complicity of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan along with his family in the smuggling of oil from territories held by Daesh in Syria and Iraq.

"Turkey is the main consumer of the oil stolen from its rightful owners, Syria and Iraq," Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said on Wednesday, citing photos showing columns of tanker trucks purportedly loading oil at Daesh-controlled installations in the two violence-scarred Middle Eastern states before entering neighboring Turkey.

The Turkish president, however, described Antonov’s comments as “immoral,” reiterating that he would step down if Moscow proved the allegations.

Ankara has repeatedly been accused of being one of the main supporters of the militant groups operating in Syria amid reports Turkey actively trains and arms the Takfiri militants there and facilitates their safe passage into the Arab country.

Turkish opposition daily Cumhuriyet published videos in a June report implicating the Turkish Intelligence Service, also known as the MIT, in ensuring safe passage into Syria for Daesh.

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