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The Dilemma with the Adana Agreement

By Jayron Soh, Russian News Agency-TASS

Published: 19 Mar 2019 - 09:42 PM

A rally for UN assistance and against Turkish involvement in Kurdistan

A rally for UN assistance and against Turkish involvement in Kurdistan

The discussions in the United Nations Security Council have ascertained the complicacy of the issues regarding the autonomous region of Kurdistan and acknowledged that there may be a need to relook the Adana Agreement.

The Russian delegate highlighted the necessity of the Adana Agreement of 1998 in ensuring the national security of Turkey. As such, the Russian delegate proposed further re-negotiations on the Adana Agreement if necessary, instead of discarding the agreement entirely. The Russian delegate reiterates that the Turkish military has the right to conduct operations on Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK) militants, should they pose a threat to Turkish security.

The Turkish delegate adds on to this sentiment, stating that there would be a review on whether should Turkey completely remove their troops from Syria, as Turkey is currently defending their territory from PKK militants. Otherwise, in light of security concerns, the Turkish delegate reserves the right to send their troops back into Syria.

However, some delegates did not share these sentiments. The delegate of the United Kingdom recognised that the Adana Agreement allowed Syria to recognise the PKK as a terrorist organisation, which would, in turn, allow Turkey to interfere in the situation. The delegate of the United Kingdom then suggested that the United Nations (UN) has to intervene in such an agreement such that the UN can oversee the situation and ensure no party violates such an agreement.

Meanwhile, the delegate of Rwanda challenged the proposed solution by the delegate of the United Kingdom, stating that the sending of UN troops to oversee the situation without the permission of the Syrian government is a gross violation of Syrian sovereignty. The Rwandan delegate also added that the fact that Turkey has to seek the permission of the UN to perform legal actions, such as the conducting of operations, is also a violation of Turkish sovereignty and concludes that the usage of the Adana Agreement is not feasible as a means to ensure peace in the region.

As the discussion on the Adana Agreement came to a close, there was no clear agreement regarding the issue. More UNSC member states gradually agreed that there were more important factors to be addressed regarding the issue of Kurdish autonomy and the discussion on the Adana Agreement was put on hold.