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Turkish Incursion into Northern Syria

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons on 15th October 2019.

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Photo of Dominic Raab Dominic Raab The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

I thank my right hon. Friend, but I cannot speak to the US position. That is for the US, but it has clearly taken its decision, and that is now very clear. On our side, what we want to do is focus on sending a very clear unequivocal message to Turkey that it must bring an end to this military intervention, that it is not going to help Turkey with its sometimes valid concerns that it has, that we are not going to allow demographic change to be unilaterally foisted on the region, and that we would not recognise any return of refugees—I think Turkey has taken 3.6 million refugees and rising, and we are not going to see them returned, or accept or recognise that—unless it is done in a safe and voluntary way. We will have to keep working with all of our partners and redouble our efforts.

Of course, it will not be without consequence for Turkey —a historic, stalwart, staunch ally—to have undertaken this behaviour. Equally, as I mentioned, there are legitimate concerns that Turkey has had. It has felt that it has not been listened to, and we need to encourage Turkey to do the right thing and start behaving the right way, and work with it, rather than force it into the arms of Assad or President Putin.