Syria rejects Turkey's request to arrange a meeting between presidents
Turkish Justice and Development Party (AKP) member and former MP Orhan Miroğlu says Damascus rejected Ankara's request to arrange a meeting between Presidents Erdogan and Al-Assad.
Turkish Justice and Development Party (AKP) member and former MP Orhan Miroğlu announced that Damascus rejected Ankara's request to arrange a meeting between Presidents Erdogan and Al-Assad.
"Damascus intends to postpone the meeting between Erdogan and Al-Assad until after the Turkish elections," Miroğlu told Sputnik.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said earlier he was ready to meet with Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad when the time was right, noting that there were modest talks between Ankara and Damascus.
"I may meet Al-Assad when the time is right... I am not politically accustomed to absolutely affirming or negating. Of course, we may meet with the Syrian President," Erdogan said.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan hinted in November at the possibility of reconsidering relations with Damascus after the 2023 elections in Turkey.
In response to a question, prior to his return from Indonesia, about the nature of relations with Egypt and Syria, Erdogan said it is possible to reconsider relations with Syria and Egypt after the elections that Turkey will witness in June 2023.
Regarding a possible meeting with Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad under Russian mediation, the Turkish President said this matter can be evaluated when the time is right, pointing out that there was no eternal resentment or quarreling in politics.
In mid-October, Turkish Presidential Spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin said Russia has offered to mediate a meeting between Erdogan and Al-Assad, but the Turkish leader "is not very warm" to this idea yet.
Ankara considers Moscow more understanding than Washington
"Ankara sees Russia as more understanding than the United States about Turkey's sensitivities in northern Syria," Miroğlu told Sputnik.
Discussions between Ankara and each of Washington and Moscow regarding a possible Turkish military operation in northern Syria continue, although they have not yet resulted in understandings yet, he added.
A week ago, Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Turkey is committed to destroying the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) "until its last militant is neutralized."
Erdogan said Turkey's determination to establish a 30-kilometer-deep (18.6-mile) security strip next to its borders continues, claiming that it is something previously sought to do with US and Russian cooperation on its southern border.
Turkey's Presidential Spokesperson had said the ground operation that was announced to target northern Syria might be initiated at any moment.
"It could be tomorrow, next week, or anytime. Türkiye will determine the time, place and scope," Ibrahim Kalin said, adding that "operations can be done in different ways."
The Kremlin urged Ankara not to "destabilize" Syria with a military offensive.