Assad guidelines out Erdogan talks until Turkiye leaves Syria

MOSCOW: Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has mentioned he’ll solely meet President Recep Tayyip Erdogan if Turkiye withdraws troops from northern Syria, in line with a Russian media interview printed on Thursday.

His feedback come someday after he met Russian President Vladimir Putin, who’s looking for to restore ties between Erdogan and Assad severed after the Syrian warfare broke out in 2011.

“(Any assembly) is linked to our reaching the purpose when Turkiye is prepared – totally and with none uncertainty – for a whole withdrawal from Syrian territory,” Assad informed Russia’s state-run RIA-Novosti information company.

Assad visits Moscow for talks on Turkiye-Syria ties

The Syrian chief, who arrived in Moscow on Tuesday, demanded that alongside a withdrawal Turkiye finish “help for terrorism”, a reference to insurgent teams that management areas of northern Syria and oppose Damascus.

“That is the one approach through which my assembly with Erdogan might happen,” Assad was cited as saying.

“What significance would any type of assembly have – and why organise it – if it doesn’t result in a conclusion of the warfare in Syria?” he added.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov mentioned “work continues” on a possible assembly between Assad and Erdogan.

“A gathering like that needs to be preceded by an entire vary of preparatory contacts, which are actually underway,” Peskov mentioned.

Diplomats from Iran, Russia, Turkiye and Syria had been to satisfy in Moscow this week to pave the way in which for a overseas ministers’ assembly, in line with Turkish media.

The assembly was nonetheless postponed for technical causes, non-public broadcaster NTV mentioned.

Erdogan and Assad had amicable relations within the 2000s after years of tensions between their international locations following the breakup of the Ottoman Empire.

However Syria’s civil warfare, which has left 500,000 individuals useless and displaced tens of millions, strained relations between Damascus and Ankara, which has lengthy supported insurgent teams against Assad.