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Erdogan: Truce in Syria Can Be Extended If Well Implemented | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A woman, who survived an airstrike, sits amid the damage in the rebel held area of Old Aleppo.

REUTERS/Abdalrhman Ismail

Ankara – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday that a 48-hour ceasefire in Syria can be extended by a week and then again for a further period, if it is well implemented by all the concerned parties.

He also announced that his country was aiming to send more than 30 trucks of food, kids clothing and toys to the Syrian city of Aleppo.

A truce, which was negotiated between the United States and Russia, is due to come into effect at sundown, Russian and U.S. officials said.

Speaking after attending Eid al-Adha prayers, Erdogan said the initial 48-hour ceasefire can be extended if it is implemented with the aim to establish “first class peace”.

Addressing reporters in Istanbul, Erdogan said: “Today after sunset, whether it is the U.N. or our Red Crescent, they will send food, toys and clothing to the people, mainly in Aleppo, through the predetermined corridors.”

“Our Red Crescent is working to reach al-Rai and Jarablus as well, in co-ordination with (the Turkish disaster management agency) AFAD,” he said, referring to two Syrian border towns.

Meanwhile, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim called on the international community to join efforts in order to end the 5 year-old conflict in Syria.

Speaking after Eid prayers in Istanbul, Yildirim said that countries concerned with the Syrian and Iraqi crises should deploy all efforts and assume serious roles in order to establish peace in the war-stricken countries.

He added that terrorist organizations will fail to hamper Turkish people’s unity.
The Turkish premier also said that around 600,000 people have lost their lives in Syria since the beginning of war.

“Millions of people were forced to leave their houses because of this war; during this period, Turkey has welcomed all refugees and provided them with necessary support,” he said.

“Consequently, reinstating peace in Syria and Iraq is now an urgent necessity and not only a choice,” Yildirim added.

Deputy Prime Minister Veysi Kaynak said about 33 Turkish aid trucks, under U.N. supervision, would be carrying 20,000 children’s shoes and items of clothing, food and toys to Aleppo.

Erdogan said Turkey’s military operations against ISIS in northern Syria, launched almost three weeks ago, would continue.

Previous efforts to forge agreements to stop the fighting and deliver humanitarian aid to besieged communities in Syria have crumbled within weeks, with the United States accusing Assad’s forces of attacking opposition groups and civilians.

The United Nations said on Friday the Syrian government had effectively stopped aid convoys this month and the besieged city of Aleppo was close to running out of fuel, making a successful truce even more urgent.