Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu speaks to the media, in Ankara, Turkey, Thursday, Nov. 28, 2019. Cavusoglu has called on NATO to support Turkey’s security concerns, accusing allies of backing Baltic countries’ security concerns but dismissing threats to Turkey from Syrian Kurdish fighters. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)
Syria maintains that it will not move forward with reconciliation talks unless there is a clear plan for the withdrawal of the Turkish military from northern Syria
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on 10 May that his country supports the ongoing process of mending relations with Syria “without preconditions.”
The foreign minister described the meeting with his counterparts from Russia, Syria, and Iran today as “constructive” following the discussions about normalization with Syria.
“The meeting was constructive, and we affirmed our commitment to Syria’s territorial integrity. There is a unified approach to combating terrorists,” he said, adding, “We stressed the importance of the political process and joint action on humanitarian issues.”
The Russian Foreign Ministry announced earlier on Wednesday that the foreign ministers of Russia, Syria, Turkiye, and Iran agreed to instruct their deputies to develop a “road map” for boosting relations between Ankara and Damascus.
“The launch of the Turkish-Syrian normalization process, with the participation of the three guarantor countries, has proven the effectiveness of the Astana formula, which will have a noticeable positive impact, not only on the situation in Syria but also on the general climate in the region as a whole,” Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov said.
“The two sides agreed to continue high-level contacts and technical negotiations in a quartet format in the coming period,” the statement of the foreign ministry added.
Lavrov also suggested resuming work to restore transportation routes and logistical links between Turkiye and Syria.
The participants stressed their commitment to Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as to confronting terrorism in all of its forms.
The ministry also indicated that “the call for an increase in international aid to Syria was emphasized, including for the voluntary, safe and dignified return of Syrians to their homeland, and post-conflict reconstruction.”
Syria has asserted that it will not move forward with the talks unless a clear roadmap is established for a Turkish military withdrawal and an end to Turkish support for extremist groups, namely the Syrian National Army (SNA) coalition and the former Al-Qaeda branch, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) – which still control significant portions of Syrian territory.