A Turkish newspaper sparked controversy after publishing a story regarding the possibility of a phone call between President Bashar al-Assad and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The Turkish newspaper said that a phone call might be made between President Bashar al-Assad and Erdogan, at the suggestion of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
It quoted Erdogan as saying that President Putin had suggested this telephone conversations with the Syrian president. It added that Putin invited the parties to meet for discussions.
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According to this information, Ankara said: “It is early to hold this meeting,” noting however that telephone conversations between Erdogan and President Assad could take place.
Turkish media have previously published news indicating the possibility of a Turkish-Syrian rapprochement. However, the Syrian state has consistently denied this news, and the Syrian Foreign Ministry described it in late April as “political delirium.”
The Russian presidency commented on what was published by the newspaper, saying: “This is up to Damascus and Ankara.” The channel Al-Mayadeen (pro-regime, observer’s note) quoted sources described as “high-ranking” saying: “Talk about the possibility of contact between President Assad and Erdogan are completely incorrect.”
The news leak carries special importance as it coincides with remarkable statements about the Turkish issue in Syria, such as the statement of Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Abdollahian, who spoke about his country’s intention to work to bring peace between Turkey and Syria.
After that came the statement of his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu, regarding Ankara’s readiness to provide all kinds of political support to Damascus to help it confront “terrorism.” Erdogan later announced that Putin stressed the need to settle the dispute with the Syrian state, pointing out that this solution makes the most sense during his return from the Sochi summit he held with Putin.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.