Akcakale, Oct 16 (AP/UNB) — Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu says Turkey won't be affected by "sanctions and threats" against Turkey over its military incursion into northeast Syria.
In a speech to Parliament on Wednesday, Cavusoglu also said that Turkey would retaliate against sanctions imposed on the country.
He said: "No sanctions or threats are acceptable and will not affect our resolve."
"We will give the appropriate answer to these sanctions. We will take the necessary steps," he added.
The United States has announced a limited set of sanctions on Turkey and U.S. President Donald Trump warned he could obliterate Turkey's economy.
Several European nations have announced they are halting arms sales to Turkey.
The U.N. Special Envoy for Syria says there must be a cessation of hostilities between Turkish troops and Kurdish fighters as the world is "extremely alarmed by the humanitarian consequences of the crisis."
Geir Pedersen spoke to reporters after meeting Wednesday with Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem saying that he wants to make sure that the fighting in the north is not threatening "the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Syria."
Pedersen said there is only a political solution also to the crisis in the northeast and "we are appealing on all parties to participate in this."
The U.N. envoy said he is very optimistic that the committee that will draft a new constitution for Syria will start meeting at the end of the month.
He said it will work "as a door opener for the broader political process that is necessary to find a solution for the crisis in Syria."
The Kremlin says it expects Turkey's military action in Syria to be proportionate to its declared goal.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Wednesday that Russia respects "Turkey's right to take measures to ensure its security" but also expected it be "proportionate to the task." He wouldn't comment on how long Moscow believes the Turkish offensive should last.
Russia moved quickly Tuesday to fill the void left by the U.S. troops' withdrawal from northern Syria, deploying its military to act as a buffer as Syrian government forces moved north under a deal with the Kurds, who have sought protection from the Turkish offensive.
In Tuesday's call, Russian President Vladimir Putin invited Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to visit Russia to discuss Syria.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Syrian Kurdish fighters must leave a designated border area in northeast Syria "as of tonight" for Turkey to stop its military offensive.
Erdogan made the comments in Parliament on Wednesday amid pressure for him to call a cease-fire and halt its incursion into Syria, now into its eighth day.
Erdogan made clear Turkey would not bow to pressure and would press ahead with the military operation until Turkish troops reach a depth of some 30 or 35 kilometer inside Syria.
He also called on the world to support Turkey's battle against Kurdish groups it considers to be "terrorists" for links to an insurgency within its own borders.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says that Russia is committed to mediating between the Syrian government and Turkey in order to ensure security in the region, as a Turkish offensive against Kurdish fighters in northern Syria enters its eighth day.
Lavrov said in remarks carried by Russian news agencies on Wednesday that Moscow will also continue to encourage Syria's Kurds and government to seek rapprochement after the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the northern border area.
Lavrov also blamed the United States and Western nations for undermining the Syrian state, thus "pushing the Kurds toward separatism and confrontation with Arab tribes."
Lavrov during his visit to Iraq last week met with the leaders of the Kurdish autonomous region and said that Moscow is sympathetic to their need for autonomy.
Russia has been the most powerful backer of Syria's President Bashar Assad in the eight-year-old civil Syrian war.
France is calling on European and other members of the coalition fighting the Islamic State group in Syria to regroup as the U.S. abdicates its leadership role in the region.
French Foreign Minister Jean Yves Le Drian said in an interview on French television channel BFM Wednesday that France is notably now looking to Russia, given their "common interests" in defeating IS in Syria.
He said the American military withdrawal from northeastern Syria is forcing European leaders to re-examine their alliance with the U.S. in the region.
Le Drian said France's "own security is at stake" amid the Turkish offensive against Syrian Kurdish fighters.
He said that "to accept this invasion" was giving IS "an open door" to return, as the chaos could allow thousands of Islamic State fighters detained in Kurdish-run prisons to escape.
Russia has moved to fill the void left by the U.S. in the conflict, deploying its forces toward Syria's border with Turkey.
Turkey's president says he won't halt its military offensive in northeast Syria, despite growing pressure and sanctions from NATO allies.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's comments came as Washington, which has announced limited sanctions on Turkey, said U.S. Vice President Mike Pence will travel to Ankara Wednesday to try and reach a cease-fire deal.
Speaking to a group of journalists, Erdogan said he told President Donald Trump: "We could never declare a ceasefire," adding that Turkey wouldn't negotiate with "terrorists."
Erdogan said he was "not concerned" by sanctions imposed on Turkey.
Turkey launched its offensive against Syrian Kurdish fighters it considers terrorists after Trump announced he was withdrawing U.S. troops.
Russia has signaled its role as de facto power broker in the conflict, deploying forces near the border following America's pullout.
Moscow, Oct. 16 (Xinhua/UNB) -- Russia is ready to assist in the establishment of practical cooperation between Damascus and Ankara on the basis of the 1998 Adana Agreement, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday.
"The militaries of the two countries should determine the specific parameters of such cooperation in practice and on terrain," Lavrov told reporters in the Black Sea resort of Sochi at an international meeting on security issues.
"We are ready to assist in such a dialogue," he added, according to video footage provided by the Russian Foreign Ministry.
In 1998, Turkey and Syria signed an agreement in the southern Turkish city of Adana, according to which Syria stopped supporting the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) considered as a terrorist party by Ankara, and expelled its leader Abdullah Ocalan, which paved the way for his capture by Turkey in 1999.
On Oct. 9, Turkey started a military offensive dubbed Operation Peace Spring in the east of the Euphrates River in northern Syria to "secure its borders by eliminating terrorist elements and to ensure the safe return of Syrian refugees and Syria's territorial integrity."
Ankara wants to clear east of the Euphrates River in northern Syria of the People's Protection Units (YPG), which it sees as the Syrian affiliate of the outlawed PKK, listed as a terrorist organization also by the United States and the European Union.
Lavrov said that Russia has always recognized the legitimate interests of Turkey in ensuring the security of its borders.
At the same time, Moscow is in favor of the current situation being resolved through dialogue between the Syrian government and the Kurdish structures, Lavrov said.
Such a dialogue has begun and it is yielding concrete results, he said.
The Kurdish Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria said on Sunday that it had reached an agreement with the Syrian government on the deployment of Syrian troops along the Syrian-Turkish border to aid the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces in facing the Turkish offensive and recapturing areas that had fallen to the Turkish forces.
Lavrov said Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan are planning to meet later this month.
They will discuss the situation in Syria, as well as the tasks of ensuring its sovereignty and territorial integrity "in an uncompromising struggle with the remnants of terrorist gangs and, of course, simultaneously promoting the political process in the form of organizing the first inaugural meeting of the constitutional committee," Lavrov said.
Beijing, Oct. 16 (Xinhua/UNB) -- China, a major contributor to global poverty reduction, has reduced its massive poor population in recent decades amid fast economic growth, an official said Wednesday.
"With practical action in eliminating absolute poverty, China has made important contributions to the global cause of poverty reduction," said Zuo Changsheng, an official with the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development, at the opening session of 2019 China Poverty Reduction International Forum.
China's poverty alleviation has progressed in line with economic development, said Zuo.
By the end of 2018, the number of people living in poverty in rural areas decreased to 16.6 million from 770 million in 1978, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.
With marked improvement in rural China's infrastructure and public service conditions, poverty-stricken areas have seen rapid economic growth and better environment, according to Zuo.
"China has always been an active advocate and strong promoter of, as well as an important contributor to global poverty reduction," said Zuo.
The country is ready to share its experiences in poverty reduction and implement the United Nations' 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, according to Zuo.
Thursday marks the sixth National Poverty Relief Day, which falls on Oct. 17 every year.
Damascus, Oct. 16 (Xinhua/UNB) -- The U.S.-led warplanes struck a former U.S. base in northern Syrian on Wednesday, state news agency SANA reported.
The United States destroyed the base in the town of Kharab near the city of Ayn al-Arab in the northern countryside of Aleppo province, said the report.
The base was one of the military positions the United States had been holding in northern Syria ahead of U.S. withdrawal from areas in northern Syria, which came in tandem with a Turkish military assault against the Kurdish forces in that region.
Meanwhile, the Russian state TV said the Syrian army has taken control of military bases in northeast Syria that were abandoned by U.S. forces.
On Oct. 9, Turkey and local rebel groups started an assault to eliminate Kurdish forces in northern Syria in order to end what Turkey perceives as the threat of "terrorist and separatist" groups on its southern border and to impose a safe zone to host millions of Syrian refugees.
The U.S. forces started withdrawing troops from the battle zones and the Kurdish forces reached an agreement with the Syrian government to allow the Syrian army to enter Kurdish-held areas and counter the Turkish attack.
Beijing, Oct. 16 (Xinhua/UNB) -- Xiangxi Tujia and Miao Ethnic Autonomous Prefecture in central China's Hunan Province held an investment promotion meeting in Beijing on Wednesday.
The prefecture signed contracts for 20 projects worth around 12.2 billion yuan (about 1.74 billion U.S. dollars) with some enterprises from Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei province.
Major projects have been launched to promote industrial transfer and upgrading in the region, covering the sectors of cultural tourism, biological medicine and modern agriculture, according to Long Xiaohua, the prefectural governor.
Xiangxi has also taken measures to improve the business environment and formulated favorable policies in taxation, finance, use of land, electric power and talents to attract investment and embrace an open economy, said Long.
Trade in the country's central and western regions showed positive momentum this year. Twelve western provincial regions and six central provinces saw their trade grow 11.8 percent and 12.4 percent respectively during the January-September period.