Main goal is to end illegal military presence: Syria FM from Moscow
Syrian FM Faisal Mekdad said that since Syria and Turkey share long borders, common goals, and interests, there is "an opportunity to work jointly.
Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad, in Moscow, during the quadripartite meeting which included Turkey, Russia, and Iran, stressed the need to fight all terrorist organizations on Syrian soil and "eliminate them under their various names," adding that "all these organizations pose a threat to Syria and other countries."
Moreover, Mekdad said, "It has become clear to everyone that the main goal for us in this regard is to end the illegitimate military presence on Syrian territory, and this, of course, includes the Turkish forces, and without progress in this matter, we will remain in place and will not reach any real results, and in all cases, we will continue to work, demand and insist on the issue of withdrawal."
According to the Syrian Foreign Minister, the Asatana process had previously "achieved many positive results on the ground," however, he noted that "we are now in the process of a new, different formula that we hope will be more dynamic in dealing with the various issues that concern us.”
Given that Syria and Turkey "share borders, common goals and interests," said Mekdad, there is "an opportunity to work jointly," despite the "negatives of the past years." Moreover, the FM emphasized that the "help and support of Russian and Iranian friends" had played a significant role in achieving the Turkish-Syrian mutual goals and interests "in a way that serves the aspirations of the two peoples in the two countries."
Regarding the statements made by the Turkish Foreign Minister which stated that “terrorist organizations will fill the vacuum in the event of the withdrawal of Turkish forces, and that this will pose a threat to Turkey’s security," Mekdad underscored that what Syria had asked for is "that there be a clear public acknowledgment from Turkey that it will withdraw its forces from Syria, and accordingly an agreement is reached on practical steps to implement this in an organized, coordinated and agreed upon manner.”
Conclusively, Mekdad stressed: “We look forward to the future in our relations with other countries, but in a way that preserves the rights of the Syrian people and their national interests that cannot be compromised or bargained over.”
The US withdrawal from Syria
On his account, Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian expressed Iran's readiness to help advance the quadrilateral meeting in order to normalize relations between Turkey and Syria.
Earlier, Amir-Abdollahian voiced hope that Syria and Turkey would achieve a political solution by re-establishing their diplomatic ties and withdrawing foreign forces from northern Syria.
"I traveled to Moscow to participate in the quadrilateral meeting of the foreign ministers of Russia, Iran, Syria, and Turkey," Hossein Amir-Abdollahian tweeted on Wednesday morning.
According to Amir-Abdollahian, the initiative taken by the Islamic Republic of Iran in its dynamic and diverse diplomacy can put an end to regional problems by completing the convergence process.
Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Al-Mekdad also emphasized the importance of the political settlement between Syria and Turkey, reiterating that the major condition is the withdrawal of Turkish forces from Syrian lands.
He also identified the Turkish presence in Syria as a hindrance to the normalization of relations between Damascus and Ankara.
Turkey and Syria's foreign ministers held their first meeting, in more than a decade, on Wednesday, May 10.
Read more: Russia lays out a roadmap for Syria-Turkey ties normalization