Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has offered Russian leader Vladimir Putin a trilateral meeting with the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. “As of now, we wish to take a step as a Syria-Turkey-Russia trio,” Erdoğan told journalists.
“For this, first our intelligence organisations should negotiate, then our defence ministers should come together, then our foreign ministers should come together,” said Erdoğan.
“Let’s come together as leaders after their negotiations. I also offered this to Mr. Putin. He also looks at it optimistically,” he added. Erdoğan had spoken with Putin on 11 December to negotiate military attacks against Kurdish forces in northern Syria.
Erdoğan also referred journalists to the Sochi Agreement and Astana Talks and insisted that he will complete the 30-km-deep security corridor along the Syrian border.
He criticised the Global Coalition against ISIS -that has US, German, French, and UK backing- for supporting the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). In partnership with the coalition, the SDF have been instrumental in defending against the Islamic State (ISIS).
Political commentator and the founder of Syrian Analysis Kevork Almassian claims that Erdoğan needs Assad’s support more than ever, as he faces an upcoming election expected to be dominated by issues related to terrorism, demographics, and Syrian refugees.
However, backed by Russia, Damascus has a hesitant approach to Turkey’s rapprochement efforts, and expected “more concrete steps” from its neighbour, reports Medyascope, quoting Al Akhbar.
“Ankara may be more precise in its political orientation than some Arab countries. However, it is not possible to understand whether Turkey has a serious stance, or if it is a political manoeuvre,” said Assad.