US pressures Ankara against establishing relations with Damascus
The US statement came despite an earlier statement made by Turkey's foreign minister that the US is not asking Ankara questions regarding talks with Damascus.
State Department spokesperson Ned Price stated on Thursday that the United States is against normalizing relations with the current Syrian government led by President Bashar Al-Assad.
The statement came following a meeting announcement earlier today between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"We’ve seen reports of potential meetings whether it’s a bilateral meeting, whether it is a trilateral discussion involving Russia as well, our policy has not changed," Price stated.
"We will not normalize and we do not support other countries normalizing relations with the Assad regime."
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The US position came despite claims made by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Tuesday that the US did not ask Ankara questions regarding the recent communications with Damascus.
Cavusoglu stated in an interview with TRT that holding a meeting between the Turkish and Syrian presidents is possible, yet will be decided following talks between the country's foreign ministers.
On December 15, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he had offered Russian President Vladimir Putin hold a meeting between the three leaders, which will be preceded by a meeting of the heads of the intelligence services, defense, and foreign ministries.
Cavusoglu revealed on December 31, after a phone call with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov, that Ankara proposed holding a meeting between the foreign ministers of Syria and Turkey in a third country during the second half of next January.
In a speech during the end-of-year assessment meeting, Cavusoglu said it is possible to establish joint work in the future if common ground is formed between Syria and Turkey in terms of combating terrorism.