Respect Syria’s Sovereignty, China Tells Turkey


China said Thursday that Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity “must be respected” after Turkish forces launched a military operation into Kurdish-controlled areas in the country’s northeast.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan confirmed on Wednesday a bombardment on the region that sent thousands of civilians fleeing their homes.

The assault followed US President Donald Trump’s announcement of a military pullback from the Turkey-Syria border — a decision that prompted fury from US lawmakers, who warned withdrawing US troops could reverse gains against the Islamic State group.

Erdogan links the Kurdish fighters to separatist militants at home and brands them “terrorists,” with US troops effectively serving as a buffer in the region before the announcement of their withdrawal.

“China always believes that Syria’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity must be respected and upheld,” foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a regular press conference Thursday.

“We have noticed that all parties are generally worried about the possible consequences of Turkey’s military operation, and urged Turkey to exercise restraint,” Geng said.

The international community should work together to create conditions for a political settlement of the Syrian issue and “avoid adding new and complicated factors to the situation”, he added.

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg urged Turkey on Wednesday to show “restraint”, while acknowledging that Ankara had “legitimate security concerns”.

Trump on Wednesday called Turkey’s incursion into Syria a “bad idea”.

Erdogan visited Beijing in July, months after Turkey became one of the only Muslim-majority countries to have criticised China over the detention of an estimated one million ethnic Uighurs and other mostly Muslim minorities in the western Xinjiang region.

But Erdogan struck a softer tone after meeting Chinese President Xi Jinping, saying a solution to the Uighur issue could be found by “taking into account the sensitivities” of both sides.


Hoisting Biafra Flag Is An Affront To Nigeria’s Sovereignty, Lawyer

Lawyer, Onyebuchi Ememanka

A Legal practitioner, Onyebuchi Ememanka has condemned the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) members for hoisting Biafra flag in the South-East region of Nigeria, saying it is an affront to the sovereignty and unity of Nigeria as a nation.

Speaking as a guest on Channels Television programme, State of the Nation, Ememanka said the best approach should have been dialogue, instead of hoisting the flag of a planned country inside a sovereign nation, Nigeria.

“From a strict legal perspective, that is unacceptable, to fly the flag of a planned country inside a sovereign nation. It is an affront to the sovereignty of the country.

“The approach would have been to find out the underlining factors that have brought us to where we are and possible engagement in dialogue instead of an outright military action.”

He said although mobilizing military personnel to the troubled region will accelerate peace, the soldiers are gradually leaving the streets of Aba and Umuahia just like the Abia State governor, Okezie Ikpeazu has said.

“The militarisation of our region is going to accelerate the peace process and we are happy that the soldiers are beginning to withdraw from the streets.

“Governor Okezie Ikpeazu did say that there was going to be a gradual withdrawal of troops from the streets of Aba and Umuahia to allow tension to come down. I am happy to inform you that, that is happening.

“The Inspector General of Police (on Friday) approved the deployment of 500 anti-riot policemen, who will take over manning the streets from the soldiers.

“We believe that this will accelerate the peace process. Our people are peaceful people and tension is coming down and life is returning to normal.”