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Al Asad conditions the meetings with Turkey to his eventual departure from Syria

Damascus, 12 Jan. The Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, today left the door open to new meetings with Turkey, conditional on the eventual departure of Turkish troops from Syrian territory, in his first statement on the matter since Ankara and Damascus held their first meeting two weeks ago. since 2011.

“Syria wants these meetings to emerge from the patriotic principles of the state and the people, based on ending the (Turkish) occupation and stopping support for terrorism,” Assad said during a meeting with the Russian special envoy for the country. Arab, Alexander Lavrentiev, according to a statement from the Syrian Presidency.

Ankara and its allied militias control several areas of northern Syria seized during three cross-border offensives launched in 2016, 2018, and 2019, while Turkey is a supporter of the Syrian opposition and allegedly supports rebel groups that have taken up arms against the government. Sirius.

During his meeting with Lavrentiev, Al Asad considered that for future tripartite meetings to be “fruitful” prior coordination with Moscow, Damascus’ main ally, will be required in order to achieve the “objectives and tangible results desired by Syria.”

The Defense Ministers of Turkey, Hulusi Akar; Ali Mahmoud Abbas of Syria and Sergei Shoigu of Russia met late last month in Moscow, in what was the first government meeting between Ankara and Damascus since their relations soured shortly after the outbreak of the Syrian war in 2011.

In that first meeting, the possibility of Turkey handing over the areas of the Arab country currently under its control was already discussed, as confirmed to EFE at the time by a Syrian source close to the process who preferred to remain anonymous.

Turkey had been announcing a change of attitude for months and raising the possibility of a rapprochement with the Al Asad government, but the Syrian president had not publicly commented on this possibility.

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