Turkey to clear mined areas until 2022

Photo: Turkey to clear mined areas until 2022 / Turkey

Turkey has pledged to clear all mined areas under its jurisdiction by 2022 after it was granted an extension Friday in a meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, for its mine clearance deadline imposed by an international mine ban convention, Anadolu Agency reported.

The main mine-contaminated areas in Turkey are on the country's 910 km border with Syria. An estimated area of 190 square km along the Syrian border are heavily mined to prevent illegal border crossings.

Moreover, there are mined sections on the borders with Armenia, Iran and Iraq.

Turkey has said it had cleared all mined areas along its borders with Greece, Bulgaria and Georgia.

In Friday's meeting of the state parties of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention, Chad, Mozambique, Niger, Serbia and Sudan were also given extensions to fulfill their obligations on mine clearance.

There are now 27 member countries that have completed clearance of mined areas and another 32 including Turkey are still in the process of clearing.

Four countries -- Bhutan, Germany, Hungary and Venezuela -- said Friday that they had cleared all mined or suspected mined areas under their jurisdiction or control.

According to a UN report, over 44.5 million stockpiled antipersonnel have been destroyed by the parties of the convention since it entered into force in 1999.

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