Russian is facilitating Syria-Turkiye talks to normalize relations

Military delegations from the Syrian and Turkish armies held talks under Russian mediation at the Hmeimim airbase in northwestern Syria earlier this month, as reported by Aydinilik newspaper.

“On 11 June, a meeting was held between military officials from the Turkish Armed Forces and the Syrian Army at the Russian Hmeimim Air Base, southeast of Latakia,” the Turkish newspaper wrote on 15 June.

“According to available information, recent events in Idlib were discussed during the meeting,” it added, referring to unrest in the northern province of Idlib, where people have recently taken to the streets in protest against the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) armed group.

Sources close to the Syrian government were cited as telling the Turkish daily that stalled normalization talks between Damascus and Ankara have now resumed. The next meeting between Syrian and Turkish officials will take place in Iraq’s capital Baghdad, according to the newspaper.

The meeting came one day after Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan in Moscow.

“This was the first meeting of its kind regarding security issues on Syrian territory. It seems that Syrian–Turkish relations are becoming close,” Aydinilik added.

The defense ministers of Turkiye and Syria met in December 2022, marking the first official talks between the two sides since 2011.

Since then, a Russian-sponsored initiative to normalize ties between Damascus and Ankara has seen officials from the two countries meet several times.

In May last year, during a meeting between the foreign ministers of Syria, Turkiye, Russia, and Iran, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called for the establishment of a clear “roadmap” for Turkish–Syrian normalization.

Yet the initiative has stalled as Syria has maintained that talks cannot move forward without a path for Turkish military withdrawal from the country and an end to Turkish support for extremist groups, namely the Syrian National Army (SNA) coalition and HTS – which still controls significant portions of Syrian territory.

“The fundamental condition for any Syrian–Turkish dialogue is Ankara’s announcement of its readiness to withdraw from Syrian territory,” Syrian Defense Minister Faisal Mekdad said at a press conference with his Iranian counterpart in early June.

Source :

the cradle

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