Bogdanov: Moscow ready to host a meeting between Erdogan and Assad
After Ankara threatened to launch a ground operation in northern Syria, the Russian President's Special Representative confirms that Moscow is ready to mediate between Ankara and Damascus if they so request.
Mikhail Bogdanov, the Russian president's special envoy to the Middle East and African countries and deputy foreign minister, said, on Friday, that his country "does not impose mediation on Ankara and Damascus."
He added that Moscow "is ready to hold a meeting between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad."
Bogdanov said in a statement to Sputnik that "we always express our readiness, but so far no concrete action has been taken at the political level. So far, there are no such plans."
Furthermore, Bogdanov said "Everything depends on the wishes of the parties, but we do not impose anything on anyone," adding that "if the two countries ask us to mediate, and our partners in Ankara and Damascus have such an interest, we will of course respond in the affirmative."
NSC: Turkey will not tolerate terrorist groups operating in vicinity
Earlier this morning, Turkey's National Security Council (NSC) declared that the government will not tolerate any terrorist groups operating in the area, or any of the groups supporting their actions.
The NSC met in the presence of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara and released a statement that stressed, "The existence and activity of any terrorist group will not be allowed in our region, and every necessary step will be taken decisively for this."
According to the statement, the only objective of the operations, which are being carried out throughout Turkey's southern borders is to protect the defense and security of Turkey.
The statement revealed that during the council meeting, new measures were addressed, as well as an update on counterterrorism operations and their effectiveness at home and abroad.
Read more: No agreements on Erdogan-Assad meeting in Russia at present: Kremlin