Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan reaffirmed his openness to meeting Syrian President Bashar al Assad, according to the Turkish Anadolu Agency.

Before the start of his Gulf tour on Monday, which will begin at Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar, and the 4-day visit is dominated by economic and investment issues.

Erdoğan said, “I am open to a meeting with President Bashar al Assad,” adding, “Syria’s position towards Türkiye is important”.

However, the Turkish president indicated that Assad demands the withdrawal of Turkish forces from northern Syria, considering that the exit of his country’s forces from northern Syria isn’t possible because we are fighting terrorism there.

A few days ago, the former Syrian ambassador to Ankara, Nidal Kabalan, confirmed that President Assad wouldn’t meet his Turkish counterpart unless an agreement was reached on the basic conditions for Damascus, the most important of which is Türkiye’s exit from Syrian territory.

Ambassador Kabalan stressed that “what is most important for Syria is what is happening on the ground, and the real decision is taken by the Turkish government, especially Erdoğan, to withdraw from the lands it occupies in the north and northwest of Syria, and this is a Syrian condition that cannot be negotiated”.

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