The Turkish and Syrian foreign ministers will hold their first meeting in more than a decade on Wednesday in Moscow as more and more countries are taking steps to normalize with Damascus.
The meeting will also be attended by the foreign ministers of Russia and Iran and will build on the progress of other Russian-hosted talks between Syria and Turkey. The effort started in December 2022, when the Turkish and Syrian defense ministers met for the first time since the Syrian war broke out in 2011.
According to Al-Mayadeen, the Turkish Foreign Minister said the officials at Wednesday’s meeting 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.”
The engagement between Damascus and Ankara is significant as Turkey was a major supporter of the failed regime change effort against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and currently occupies areas of northern Syria. Damascus has made clear that any normalization deal must include the withdrawal of Turkish troops from Syrian territory.
Turkish and Syrian officials last met on April 25 in Moscow, when their defense and intelligence chiefs held talks. After the meeting, a Turkish official said the condition for a Turkish withdrawal from Syria is the end of the “YPG threat” in the country, referring to the primary military component of the SDF, the Kurdish-led group that is backed by the US.