Turkish Foreign Minister: Meeting between Erdogan and Assad is close

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Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu made a statement about a possible meeting between the Turkish and Syrian presidents, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Syrian President Bashar al Assad, where he indicated that the meeting needs to be prepared and to identify the topics to be discussed, such as the issue of refugees, fighting terrorism, and the political process, and he explained that there are different proposals for dates.

Various dates were proposed for the date of the meeting in May, including a date close to the Turkish elections, and the Russians told us that we would evaluate the option closest to the elections if there was an early date.

Çavuşoğlu indicated that a date was proposed in early May, but due to the Iranian president’s visit to Syria, this date did not suit them, and another date is now being discussed.

Çavuşoğlu stressed that the leaders’ meeting is necessary to achieve effective results, not just symbolic pictures.

On the other hand, Çavuşoğlu confirmed that his country’s forces won’t withdraw from northern Iraq and Syria at the present time.

Çavuşoğlu said in an interview, “Our withdrawal from northern Iraq and northern Syria means the cessation of our military operations against terrorism and the approach of terrorists to our borders, and this constitutes a threat to our national security”.

Çavuşoğlu considered that terrorist organizations will fill the vacuum that will occur if the Turkish forces withdraw from northern Syria, and that national security and the security of the border is very important for Ankara.

Çavuşoğlu said, “We don’t aspire to cut off parts of the Syrian lands, and we cannot withdraw from northern Syria unless security is established and full stability returns to those areas”.

He pointed out that Türkiye doesn’t trust the United States and France with regard to fighting terrorism, indicating that Washington continues to support the PKK / YPG terrorists.

The Turkish minister’s remarks came on the eve of a meeting of defense ministers and intelligence chiefs of Syria, Russia, Türkiye and Iran in Moscow.

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