Russia lays out a roadmap for Syria-Turkey ties normalization
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov reveals a Russian presentation within the framework of the quadrilateral format of Russia-Iran-Turkey-Syria.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said, on Wednesday, Moscow has presented a road map within the framework of the quadrilateral format of Russia-Iran-Turkey-Syria to lay out the normalization of relations between Damascus and Ankara for the upcoming meeting of foreign ministers, which will then be presented to the presidents.
During a meeting with the foreign ministers of Iran, Syria, and Turkey in Moscow, Lavrov said, "The optimal result of our meeting today could be an agreement to instruct experts to prepare a draft roadmap for Syrian-Turkish normalization for the next ministerial meeting, which will then be reported to the heads of our states."
"This roadmap should allow to clearly define the positions of the contracting parties — Syria and Turkey — on their priority issues which includes solving the problem of restoring control of the Syrian government over the territory of the country and ensuring reliable security of the shared 950-kilometer [590 miles] border with Turkey excluding the possibility of cross-border attacks, infiltration of terrorists," he added.
Elsewhere in his remarks, he affirmed that Russia has proposed addressing the restoration of transport and logistic communications between Syria and Turkey at the ongoing quadrilateral meeting of the foreign ministers of Russia, Iran, Turkey, and Syria.
He also stipulated that "the launch of the process of Syrian-Turkish normalization has a noticeable positive impact not only on the situation around Syria but also on the general atmosphere in the Middle East region as a whole."
The top Russian diplomat called out that official representatives of Damascus have not been invited to the EU donors conference on Syria, once again.
"And almost all funds, at least the lion's share of them, which will be collected, will be spent, as well as at other such events, on the maintenance of refugee camps. That is, they will be spent to keep refugees outside the Syrian Arab Republic as long as possible," Lavrov stressed.
Lavrov warned that the US is creating the so-called "Free Syria Army" with the participation of terrorist groups with the aim of destabilizing the situation in the country.
The US wants to use these fighters as proxies against the legitimate authorities of the Syrian Arab Republic to undermine the country's stability, the Minister added.
Commenting on the upcoming Turkish elections, Lavrov hoped that the process will be held without any external meddling.
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.
Syria lays three conditions for normalizing ties with Turkey in Russia
The previous quadripartite meeting of the deputy foreign ministers of Syria, Russia, Iran, and Turkey began on April 4 at the Russian Foreign Ministry's guest palace in Moscow.
According to the state news agency SANA, the Syrian delegation will focus during the meeting on three points, "Ending the illegal Turkish presence on Syrian territory, non-interference in the Syrian internal affairs, and combating terrorism in all its forms.”
The Syrian delegation arrived in Moscow on April 2 and held talks with Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister and Special Representative of the Russian President Mikhail Bogdanov and the senior advisor to the Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Asghar Khaji.
The Russian, Syrian, and Turkish defense ministers held talks in the Russian capital, Moscow, earlier in December 2022 where they discussed means of resolving the Syrian crisis.
"On December 28, trilateral talks between the defense ministers of Russia, Syria, and Turkey took place in Moscow. The meeting discussed ways to address the Syrian crisis, the issue of refugees, and joint efforts to combat extremist groups in Syria," the Russian Defense Ministry said.
At the conclusion of the meeting, the defense ministers highlighted how the dialogue was constructive, stressing the need for all three parties to hold further talks to bring more stability to Syria and the whole region, the statement added.
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