Assad-Erdogan relationship will be easy to pair?

Last Updated on July 6, 2024 9:13 am

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that he will invite Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to visit Turkey through the mediation of Russia.

He told the journalists who came to the summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Kazakhstan on Friday.

Erdogan said, “We can invite Bashar al-Assad together with Russian President Vladimir Putin.”

The Turkish president said, “If the Russian president visits Turkey, it could be the beginning of a new process.” The recent years in Syria have made it clear to everyone that a permanent solution is desperately needed.’

Vladimir Putin has suspended his visit to Turkey since last year due to US sanctions over some bilateral issues. However, he held a meeting with the Turkish leader on the sidelines of the summit held in Kazakhstan on Wednesday. It is said that Syria issue was among the topics discussed.

Meanwhile, Erdogan told the media last week that he was ready to talk to the Syrian president. Bashar al-Assad also hinted at such a meeting.

A mediation effort led by Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammad Shia Sudani to persuade the Assad government to restore ties with Turkey has made significant progress.

Meanwhile, a senior Iranian official said in Ankara last month that they too are pressing Damascus for unconditional talks with the Turkish government.

Ankara also believes that the time has come to finally start talks with Damascus to facilitate the return of refugees and establish a coalition against Kurdish armed groups in northeastern Syria.

But Turkish officials are aware that this effort will take time to succeed and will not be easy.

According to Erdogan, Syria’s infrastructure is almost destroyed and its people are scattered. It is therefore imperative that Sirius stands on its own feet and ends the unstable situation.

The Turkish president said such an unstable situation in Syria creates a supportive environment for Kurdish armed groups such as the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and its branches in the country. which Türkiye considers a terrorist organization.

Erdoğan said, “The wind of peace that will blow in Syria and the atmosphere of peace that will be created among the people throughout Syria – it is also necessary to send millions of refugees scattered in different countries back to their countries”.

“We have always extended the hand of friendship to our neighbor Syria and we will continue to do so,” he added.

However, Ankara still hopes for some reforms in Syria, Erdogan said. For example, a new social contract, which is ‘fair, respectful and inclusive’. which will unite the entire country divided by warring administrations and factions and achieve domestic peace.

Meanwhile, Erdogan’s announcement of a meeting with Assad — and an attack on Syrian refugees earlier this week — has destabilized Turkish-controlled areas in northern Syria.

Unprecedented protests took place in several cities in northern Syria on Monday. Protesters attacked vehicles with Turkish plates. Also some of them were damaged and burnt.

Video footage also showed Turkish armored vehicles and some military outposts in the Syrian cities of Afrin and Azaz being riddled with bullets.

Since the start of Syria’s civil war in 2011, Erdogan has cut ties with his once close friend Assad and has been backing the Syrian opposition with Western allies.

But Turkey changed its stance in 2016, after the Islamic State (IS) group established control in Syria and Russia backed Assad and withdrew its troops.

Meanwhile, Ankara began to focus primarily on Kurdish armed groups and launched attacks along the border into northern Syria. It also captured cities such as Afrin, al-Bab and Azaz and brought some rebel groups under their control.

Source: Middle East Eye

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