Sources: Damascus still has not approved Syrian, Turkish FMs meeting
Syrian sources disclose to Al Mayadeen that there will be no meeting unless a preset agenda is set, at forefront of which is the withdrawal of the Turkish army from all Syrian territories.
High-ranking Syrian sources told Al Mayadeen that the meeting of the Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu is not yet scheduled because "Damascus has not yet agreed to hold it."
The sources noted that "Damascus refused to set the meeting before defining its objectives, at the forefront of which is the withdrawal of the Turkish army from the entire Syrian territory."
"The government of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has electoral goals regarding the rapprochement with the Syrian leadership," they added, stressing that "Damascus is not interested in offering them this card," they added.
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Earlier today, Cavusoglu announced that he might meet with Mekdad and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in early February.
"There were dates presented to hold the tripartite meeting between the foreign ministers of Russia, Syria, and Turkey next week, but these dates do not fit our program, and therefore the exact date for the meeting has not yet been determined," Cavusoglu told reporters during his visit to Rwanda as part of his African tour.
Earlier on Tuesday, the Syrian newspaper Al-Watan reported that "there is no agreed-upon date of a meeting between the Syrian and Turkish FMs," based on statements from informed sources.
According to the sources, "All news in this regard so far is devoid of truth," the Syrian media outlet said.
Earlier in December, Turkish Justice and Development Party (AKP) member and former MP Orhan Miroğlu said that Damascus rejected Ankara's previous requests to arrange a meeting between the two presidents.
"Damascus intends to postpone the meeting between Erdogan and Al-Assad until after the Turkish elections," Miroğlu told Sputnik.
The Moscow meeting that is being discussed, which will include Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, and Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad, is expected to cover the latest issues in Syria with a focus on northern Syria, in addition to the fight against terrorism and Syrian refugees in Turkey.
On December 15, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he had proposed to Russian President Vladimir Putin a prospective meeting between the presidents of Syria, Turkey, and Russia preceded by a meeting of the chiefs of security apparatuses and defense ministers.
It's also notable that a tripartite meeting was held last month, which included the defense ministers of Syria, Turkey, and Russia in Moscow. Attendees discussed potential solutions for the Syrian conflict, the refugee crisis, and the joint efforts for combatting terrorism in Syria.
On December 30, Ankara announced its intention to transfer control over the areas where Turkish forces are present in Syria to Damascus if political stability is achieved and indicated the possibility of joint work in the future with the Syrian authorities to combat terrorism.