ANKARA : A meeting between the foreign ministers of Türkiye, Russia, Iran, and Syria was held on Wednesday in Moscow.
At the meeting, participants exchanged views on efforts to normalize relations between Türkiye and Syria and discussed counter-terrorism, the political processes, and humanitarian matters, including the voluntary, safe, and dignified return of Syrians, according to the Turkish Foreign Ministry.
In a tweet after the meeting, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said in the talks he stressed cooperation in the fight against terrorism, working together to establish a basis for the return of Syrians, bringing the political process in Syria forward, and the protection of Syria’s territorial integrity.
Delivering an opening speech, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov thanked the ministers for coming to Moscow, noting that the quadrilateral meeting itself is an achievement, as it took some time and a lot of effort to organize it.
The talks between Ankara and Damascus have a “noticeable positive impact” not only on the situation around Syria but also on the general atmosphere in the Middle East region as a whole, he stressed.
Lavrov said the normalization between Türkiye and Syria will also open up new opportunities for the Astana format on the Syrian settlement.
The minister proposed directing experts from the four countries to draft a road map for Syrian-Turkish normalization to set some benchmarks, necessary to move forward.
“This roadmap should clearly identify the position of the contracting parties of Syria and Türkiye on priority topics, including restoration of control of the Syrian government over the entire country, ensuring reliable security of the 950-kilometer border with Türkiye, excluding the possibility of cross-border attacks, infiltration of terrorists, conducting activities by individuals or groups of individuals aimed at to cause damage to a neighboring state,” he said.
The minister added that the four countries share the same view on the necessity to fight terrorism and separatism.
Last December, the defense ministers and intelligence chiefs of Türkiye, Russia, and the Syrian regime met in Moscow and agreed to continue tripartite meetings to ensure stability in Syria and the wider region.
Iran was also included in the talks, with Türkiye previously saying that Ankara would be “pleased if Iran is involved in this process.”
Syria has been mired in a vicious civil war since early 2011 when the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity. — AA