Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan believes that his country’s meetings with Russia, Syria, and possibly Iran are vital for achieving stability in the region of north and east Syria.
Erdogan said Türkiye’s relations with Russia are “based on mutual respect.”
He added that his relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin is “based on honesty.”
The Turkish president added that while his country has not been able to obtain the result it desires regarding developments in northern Syria, it is calling for holding tripartite meetings between Türkiye, Russia and Syria.
“Let Türkiye, Russia and Syria meet, and Iran can join, and let us hold our meetings along these lines so that stability can be reached on the region and get rid of the problems we are facing,” said Erdogan at an election rally on Sunday night.
For a long time now, Turkish and Syrian intelligence officials have met under Russian mediation. The talks culminated in a meeting of defense ministers in Moscow on December 28 as part of efforts to normalize ties between Ankara and Damascus, which Russia is promoting.
Turkish, Syrian, and Russian foreign ministers were slated to meet in mid-January, in preparation for a meeting between their respective presidents that was proposed by Erdogan.
However, Damascus’ announcement of conditions to proceed with normalization talks thwarted the plans.
Damascus demanded that Turkish forces withdraw from northern Syria and Ankara stop supporting the Syrian opposition. It also required blacklisting the Turkish-backed Syrian National Army factions.