Meeting in Moscow between Turkish and Syrian Defense Ministers | Syria: the spiral of war

Spread the love

Meeting in Moscow between the Turkish and Syrian Ministers of Defense | Syria: the gears of war

< /p>

A Syrian refugee camp near the Turkish border

Turkish and Syrian Ministers of Defense spoke on Wednesday during a meeting in Moscow with their Russian counterpart, the first official ministerial meeting between Ankara and Damascus since the start of the war in Syria in 2011.

Trilateral talks were held in Moscow between the defense ministers of the Russian Federation, the Syrian Arab Republic and the Republic of Turkey, the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement.

Discussions between Russian Sergei Shoigu, Turkish Hulusi Akar and Syrian Ali Mahmoud Abbas focused on ways to resolve the Syrian crisis and the refugee issue, as well as on joint efforts to fight extremist groups, according to the same source.

The parties stressed the constructive nature of the dialogue held in this format and the need to continue it in order to stabilize Syria, the Russian ministry added.

For its part, the Turkish Defense Ministry reported a meeting that took place in a positive atmosphere.

This is the first official meeting at ministerial level between Turkey and Syria since the start of the Syrian crisis in 2011, which greatly strained relations between Ankara and Damascus.

The foreign ministers of the two countries had a brief informal exchange on the sidelines of a regional summit in 2021 and Ankara had acknowledged contacts between intelligence services.

According to Turkish media, the powerful boss of the Turkish intelligence services (MIT), Hakan Fidan, was also present on Wednesday in Moscow.

The meeting between Messrs. Akar and Abbas come as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been threatening for several weeks to launch a military offensive in northern Syria against Kurdish groups. Ankara was in contact with Moscow to obtain the opening of Syrian airspace to Turkish warplanes.

The war in Syria began with anti-government protests before escalating into a complex conflict involving several international actors, including neighboring Turkey.

Fiercely opposed to the regime of Bashar Al-Assad since the beginning of the conflict in 2011, Ankara has indeed posed as unwavering support for Syrian rebel groups and welcomes on its soil nearly four million Syrian refugees.

But Turkey, whose troops are already present in Syrian territory, south of its border, has in recent months changed its position with regard to Damascus, at the time where Ankara seeks to appease its relations with Arab countries.

Mr. Erdogan, who has repeatedly called Mr. Assad an assassin in recent years, spoke last month of a possible meeting with him.

In mid-December, he also indicated that he could meet with Mr. Assad after meetings with the Ministers of Defense and Foreign Affairs.

  • Our feature: Syria: the spiral of war
Previous Article
Next Article