Syria, Turkey FMs to meet in Moscow for first time in decade
Turkish and Syrian Foreign Ministers are set to meet in Moscow on May 10 and the Turkish Foreign Ministry noted the meeting will include talks about the safe return of refugees to Syria.
Turkey and Syria's Foreign Ministers are set to hold their first meeting, in more than a decade, on Wednesday, May 10. The talks will be quadripartite including Iranian and Russian officials and will be held in Moscow.
According to the Turkish Foreign Ministry, the top officials of both countries will "exchange views on the normalization of relations between Turkey and Syria, discuss humanitarian issues... and the voluntary, safe and dignified return of asylum seekers."
It is noteworthy that Damascus has repeatedly called the presence of Turkish forces on the Syrian border illegal and urged Ankara to fully withdraw its troops from Syrian territories setting that as a pre-requisite for any foreseen agreement.
In Turkey, Erdogan's political opponents also sought rapprochement with Syria, making this a key issue in the upcoming Turkish elections which is to take place just a few days after the meeting.
Nearly four million Syrian refugees and migrants resided in Turkey since the war in Syria erupted, and Erdogan has promised to hasten their return. However, based on Syria's condition of the complete withdrawal of Turkish troops prior to any normalization and rapprochement, Erdogan will need to either withdraw his troops or find a compromise that Syria will agree to in the upcoming meeting on Wednesday.
According to the MFA, the talks will include the safe return of Syrian refugees.
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.
Read more: Amir-Abdollahian to take part in Moscow quadripartite meeting: Media