TANGIER /Morocco/, November 12. /TASS/. Turkey will have to put up with the fact of Russia’s long-term presence in Syria sooner or later, Yasar Yakis, a Turkish politician and international relations experts, and the country’s former foreign minister, said in an interview with TASS.
“At the present moment Turkey cooperates with Russia in Syria on a whole range of issues, but I don’t expect it to last forever, as I assume that Russia’s presence on the Syrian territory goes against Turkey’s interests and targets,” he said.
“Russia has long been supporting the Kurdish story, while Turkey dislikes it when the Kurdish theme is managed from outside. Moscow’s and Ankara’s different views regarding the Kurdish issue will pursue over the long-term,” Yakis added.
“Over the past couple of years Turkey and Russia have managed to divide their relations in different areas, or said another way, inability to cooperate in one area should not negatively affect good cooperation in another field,” the expert said, adding that “the cooperation between Ankara and Moscow in the Caucasus, regarding energy issues and construction should not be complicated due to certain political or other problems.”
“We realize that Russia will not leave Syria. Russia wants to benefit from today’s atmosphere in Syria in order to get back to the Middle East. We all remember the Soviet times when Moscow was actively present in the region, particularly in Syria, which means that expectations that Russia will quit Syria are not realistic,” Yakis explained.
According to Turkey’s former foreign minister, Russia may expand its presence in Syria beyond the existing bases, while Ankara “will have to put up with the fact of Russia’s long-term presence in Syria sooner or later.” “Ankara needs to develop relations with Moscow, taking into consideration the fact that Russia’s presence in Syria and in the Middle East on the whole is long-term,” he added.
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