Assad sets condition for meeting Turkish president

Published March 16th, 2023 - 11:54 GMT
Assad sets condition for meeting Turkish president
Assad said that Turkey should stop, what he called, "supporting terrorism"

ALBAWABA - Syrian President Bashar Assad stipulated that Turkey withdraws its forces from northern Syria as a requisite for meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Russian media quoted the Syrian president Thursday saying that his meeting with his Turkish counterpart is linked to reaching a stage in which Turkey is "clearly ready for a complete exit from Syrian territory."

Assad said that Turkey should stop what he called "supporting terrorism."

"Aside from that, what is the value of the meeting, if it does not produce final results for the war in Syria?" Assad asked.

The Syrian leader implicitly referred to fighting groups opposing his regime that control regions in northern Syria. Some are said to receive support and training from neighboring Turkey.

Assad asserted that Turkey's withdrawal of its forces from northern Syria "is the only case in which there can be a meeting between me and Erdogan."

The Syrian President's statements were published the day after his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow.

Russia is trying to bridge the gaps between Turkey and Syria, although Moscow's ties with Turkey deteriorated and severed since the outbreak of the civil war in Syria in 2011. While Turkey supported the factions opposing Assad's regime, Russia stood behind the Syrian strongman, providing him with military support, logistics, training and guidance.

A Turkish official said recently that Erdogan does not mind meeting Assad. News reports that Erdogan proposed to Putin in December a tripartite meeting that will also bring the pair together with Assad.

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