Sunday, July 07, 2024

Turkish President announces readiness to extend an invitation to President Assad

    Sunday, July 07, 2024   No comments

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan confirmed on Sunday that "once Bashar al-Assad takes a step towards improving relations with Turkey, we will respond appropriately."


He continued in press statements: "We will extend our invitation to Assad, and with this invitation we want to return Turkish-Syrian relations to the same point they were in the past."

He added: "Our invitation can happen at any time."

The Turkish president added in his press statements: "Russian President Vladimir Putin has an approach regarding our meeting (with Assad) in Turkey, and Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani has an approach. We are talking here about mediation, so what is wrong with it with our neighbor?"


On Friday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan confirmed that he could, in cooperation with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, "extend an invitation" to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to start a new process of normalizing relations with Syria.


"I already said on Friday (last), after the Friday prayers, that we can start a new process (of normalizing relations) with Syria. We can invite Mr. Assad with Mr. Putin," Erdogan told reporters upon his arrival from Astana.


Erdogan added that Russian President Vladimir Putin's upcoming visit to Turkey could be the beginning of a new process of normalizing relations between Ankara and Damascus.


He commented: "If our honorable Mr. Putin can visit Turkey, this could be the beginning of a new process (of normalizing relations between Turkey and Syria). All the years that have passed in the Syrian arena have clearly shown everyone that it is necessary to create a mechanism for a permanent settlement. Syria, whose infrastructure has been destroyed and whose people have been scattered, must stand on its own feet and end the instability. The recent calm in this area can open the door to peace if wise policies and an approach to solving problems are adopted without bias."


Commenting on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's statements about normalizing relations between Syria and Turkey last week, Erdogan said that "there are no reasons not to establish diplomatic relations between the two countries," and according to him, "Ankara does not aim to interfere in Damascus' internal affairs." Assad had stated on June 26, during a meeting with the Russian President's special representative, Alexander Lavrentiev, that "Syria is open to all initiatives related to its relations with Turkey, which are based on respect for the country's sovereignty."

Previously, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad confirmed Syria's openness to all initiatives related to the relationship between Syria and Turkey, based on "the sovereignty of the Syrian state over all its territories on the one hand, and the fight against all forms of terrorism and its organizations on the other hand."


The Syrian presidency stated in a statement on its Telegram channel that "President al-Assad confirmed during his meeting with the special envoy of the Russian President, Alexander Lavrentiev, Syria's openness to all initiatives related to the relationship between Syria and Turkey, based on the sovereignty of the Syrian state over all its territories on the one hand, and the fight against all forms of terrorism and its organizations on the other hand, stressing that these initiatives reflect the will of the countries concerned to establish stability in Syria and the region in general."


Earlier, a Turkish newspaper reported, citing sources, that military delegations from Turkey and Syria, with Russian mediation, held talks at the Hmeimim air base, and another meeting is expected to be held in Baghdad.


The newspaper said: "In this regard, a meeting of military officials from the Turkish Armed Forces and the Syrian army was held at the Russian Hmeimim Air Base southeast of Latakia on June 11," and stated that "the meeting discussed the latest developments in and around Idlib province."


The first meeting of the foreign ministers of the four countries (Russia, Turkey, Iran, Syria) was held in Moscow on May 10, 2023. Based on its results, the ministers ordered the preparation of a draft roadmap for normalizing relations between Turkey and Syria.


Earlier, the Russian President's Special Representative for Syria, Alexander Lavrentiev, stated in an interview with Sputnik that Moscow had handed Ankara and Damascus a draft roadmap for normalizing relations between the two sides, indicating that they could make amendments to it.


Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has previously identified priority topics in the roadmap, which include restoring Syrian government control over all parts of the country, ensuring the security of the Syrian-Turkish border, and eliminating the possibility of cross-border attacks and terrorist infiltration.


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