Tension and anticipation dominated Tuesday’s four-way talks in Moscow with the presence of deputy foreign ministers from Russia, Syria, Iran, and Türkiye.
Despite secrecy shrouding the consultation round held behind closed doors, the Syrian side's aggressive statements hinted at the failure of efforts to push for normalization between Damascus and Ankara.
Meanwhile, Russian sources expressed satisfaction with the meeting, viewing it as an important preliminary step towards arranging talks between foreign ministers “as soon as possible.”
The deputy foreign ministers’ meeting launched without revealing any agenda or details regarding the positions of participating parties.
The Syrian delegation announced their conditions for normalization with Ankara before the closed sessions, but Russian diplomatic sources minimized the significance of the Syrian “hardline” position.
They emphasized that the purpose of the deputy foreign ministers' meeting was not to make public statements or announce agreements, but rather to prepare for an upcoming ministerial meeting.
The aim is to lay the groundwork for agreements that will lead to a summit attended by the leaders of the four countries, explained Russian sources.
According to state news agency SANA, Ayman Sousan, Syria's deputy foreign minister who attended the talks in Moscow, had stressed on three key points during the meeting.
These points included “ending Türkiye’s illegal presence on Syrian soil, refraining from interfering in Syrian internal affairs, and combating terrorism in all its forms.”
The delegations from Russia, Türkiye, and Iran did not officially respond to Sousan’s statements.
However, the Russian government-owned channel RT later aired the speech of the Syrian delegation's leader during the meeting, without mentioning the remarks of the other parties.
According to RT, Sousan affirmed that Türkiye’s formal and unequivocal announcement that it will withdraw its forces from all Syrian lands, and to start withdrawal from these lands, is “the gateway to re-establish communication between the two sides.”