Türkiye has slowed down the pace of its efforts to normalize ties with Syria.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has no plans to hold talks with his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad, Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said in the first presidential statement following Erdogan’s reelection for a third five-year term on Sunday.
"So far, there is no date for such a meeting... We need to see what steps the Syrian side will take," he said in a televised interview on Monday.
The foreign ministers of Türkiye, Russia, Syria and Iran had met in Moscow on May 10 to push forward normalization between Ankara and Damascus.
At the time, Turkish FM Mevlut Cavusoglu said intense efforts will be made to normalize relations, hinting that a meeting between Erdogan and Assad may be held this year.
The only obstacle to the meeting was the Turkish military deployment in northern Syria.
Assad had said that he would not meet his Turkish counterpart before the complete troop withdrawal.
For his part, Erdogan had stressed that Türkiye will not pull out its forces and that they would continue their mission to combat “terrorist organizations” - a reference to the Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) that Ankara views as an extension of the banned Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).
Cavusoglu had warned that the withdrawal will allow such groups to fill the void left by the Turkish troops.