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Syria Today – Turkish FM Hints at Presidents Meeting; New Quadripartite Meeting Soon

Your daily brief of the English-speaking press on Syria.
Syria Today – Turkish FM Hints at Presidents Meeting; New Quadripartite Meeting Soon

Davutoğlu talks about an expected meeting between Erdogan and Assad Again 

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu revealed Monday, that a four-way ministerial meeting to be hosted by Moscow early next month on Syria, saying that it aims to achieve several goals, including preparing for a meeting between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Syrian counterpart, Bashar al-Assad.

In an interview with the Turkish A News Channel, Davutoglu said, “We believe that the meeting will take place in early May in the Russian capital, Moscow, according to the preliminary information we received from the Russian side.”

“We discussed this meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov during his visit to the Turkish capital, Ankara, last Friday,” he said.

He explained that the aim of these talks is to revive the political process, permanent stability and peace, combat terrorism, ensure the security of Syria’s borders and territorial integrity, and ensure the voluntary return of Syrian refugees from Turkey and neighbouring countries alike.

The Turkish foreign minister pointed out that the ministerial meeting is a preparation for a meeting between the Turkish and Syrian presidents in the future.

“The four ministers may work on preparations for a meeting between the leaders of Russia, Syria, Iran and Turkey,” he said.

Top Russian, Syrian, Turkish, and Iranian diplomats to meet in near future: Moscow

Russia’s deputy foreign minister says a quadrilateral meeting among the top diplomats of Russia, Syria, Turkey, and Iran will be held in the near future as part of efforts made to normalize relations between Ankara and Damascus, Iranian Press TV reported.

“[The meeting] is in the works. We are setting a date,” Mikhail Bogdanov was quoted by Russia’s TASS news agency as saying on Monday.

The new glimmer came after reports yesterday said the meeting was postponed.

“The sooner the better,” Bogdanov said when asked whether the quadrilateral meeting would take place in early May or before that.

Stressing that the date of the meeting should make sense for each of the four ministers, the Russian diplomat said, “There was no official date, so we didn’t postpone anything. We are coordinating [the date] now. There have been various proposals, but each of the four ministers has his own schedule.”

The senior diplomats from the four countries were reported earlier to have discussed preparations for a four-party ministerial meeting in Moscow on April 3-4.

Turkey severed its relations with Syria in March 2012, a year after the Arab country found itself in the grip of rampant and deadly violence waged by foreign-backed militants, including those allegedly supported by Ankara.

The two neighbouring countries are currently taking steps toward reconciliation after 11 years.

Egyptian FM calls for end to foreign ‘interference’ in Syria

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry has called for an end to all forms of terrorism and foreign “interference” in Syria in order to restore its security and stability.

During a phone call with the United Nations Special Envoy to Syria Geir Pedersen, the top Egyptian diplomat reiterated Egypt’s full support for Pedersen’s efforts to reach a comprehensive political settlement in Syria, in line with Security Council Resolution 2254, Xinhua news agency reported, citing a statement by the Egyptian Foreign Ministry.

For his part, the UN envoy thanked Egypt for its contribution and ongoing support in resolving the Syrian crisis.

Shoukry and Pedersen also discussed ways to alleviate the suffering of the Syrian people, according to the statement.

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