Saturday 21 April 2018

Hollande: Turkey needs to do more against Islamic State, talk to Kurds

French President François Hollande
French President François Hollande

John Irish

France said on Tuesday key regional players Iran and Saudi Arabia should be involved in finding a solution to the Syrian conflict and urged Turkey to restore dialogue with Kurds while doing more to combat Islamic State fighters.

In an annual foreign policy speech to French ambassadors President Francois Hollande reiterated that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad could not be part of his country's future.

"All the players (involved) need to be part of the solution. I'm thinking of Gulf Arab states and Iran. I'm also thinking of Turkey that needs to be involved in the fight against Islamic State and needs to relaunch dialogue with the Kurds."

Turkey has over the last month launched military operations against Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) targets in northern Iraq and southeastern Turkey in what it calls its "synchronised war on terror." Its critics say it has limited its strikes on Islamic State targets.

The Turkish military said on Tuesday 34 militants from the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) were killed in its latest air strikes on the group's camps in northern Iraq's Qandil mountain region.

Turkey has been bombing PKK targets in northern Iraq and in mostly Kurdish southeastern Turkey since July 24, in response to what it says are increased attacks by the Kurdish militants on members of the security forces.


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