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Moscow: Agreement Reached on Including Tehran in Ankara, Damascus Normalization Process

Moscow: Agreement Reached on Including Tehran in Ankara, Damascus Normalization Process

Wednesday, 1 February, 2023 - 06:15
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov attends a joint press conference with his Egyptian counterpart following their talks in Moscow on January 31, 2023. (AFP)

Moscow reiterated on Tuesday its keenness on pushing forward rapprochement between Ankara and Damascus.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow supports Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s openness to resolving issues with Damascus.

“An agreement has been reached today with the aim of including Iran in this process,” he announced from Moscow where he received his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry.

It is only natural for the upcoming contacts related to the normalization of ties between Ankara and Damascus to take place through Russian and Iranian mediation, he added.

He revealed that efforts are underway to set date for future meetings between concerned military and diplomatic officials.

A diplomatic source told Asharq Al-Awsat that Moscow and Ankara have reached a settlement over including Iran in the normalization process.

Ankara had initially objected to Tehran’s inclusion.

Iran, for its part, had expressed reservations over its previous exclusion by Russia and Türkiye from the process, the source said. It therefore stressed to Russia the need for it to be included in the normalization efforts.

On Monday, Russian deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov held talks with his Syrian counterpart Ayman Sosan.

He expressed Moscow’s readiness “to help in normalizing ties between Damascus and Ankara based on the principles of respecting Syria’s sovereignty,” said a Russian foreign ministry statement.

The officials exchanged views on the situation in and around Syria, stressing the need for a comprehensive settlement.

They highlighted the pioneering role played by the Astana process in Syria and underscored the need to intensify constructive work at the Syrian Constitutional Committee.

Bogdanov and Sosan also discussed bolstering the “traditional friendly relations between Russia and Syria.”

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