Four Goals: New Turkish Statements about Contact with Regime

Several Turkish statements in recent weeks have hinted at Ankara's changing approach to the Syrian issue, according to al-Souria Net.

Turkish Foreign Minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, said that political communication with the Syrian regime needs a “suitable environment.” He spoke of four goals for his country in Syria.   

Turkish reports quoted Cavusoglu, during a speech at the meeting of the Planning and Budget Committee, on Tuesday, as saying that activating diplomatic contact with the Assad regime requires a “suitable environment.” 

“If there is a suitable environment to elevate communications between intelligence services to the diplomatic level, we will assess that.” 

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The Turkish minister spoke of four “strategic” goals that his country adheres to in Syria, namely: preserving the unity and territorial integrity of the country, achieving lasting stability on the basis of a political solution, eliminating terrorism on the Syrian-Turkish border, as well as ensuring the “safe” return of Syrian refugees to their country. 

He noted that 530,000 Syrians have returned from Turkey to Syria “thanks to efforts to ensure stability.”  

Turkish political circles are witnessing frequent statements about the possibility of a direct political dialogue with the Syrian regime, after a break in relations more than ten years ago, except for intelligence coordination between the two sides.   

The spokesman for the Turkish presidency, Ibrahim Kalin, renewed his talk about the possibility of a direct political dialogue with the Syrian regime, stressing that there are no current plans for this. 

Kalin said in an interview with the  Turkish channel A Haber two weeks ago that his country does not currently plan to make direct contact with Syria, referring to the Assad regime. He noted that the communication takes place through the intelligence services only. 

According to the Turkish official, the Assad regime has not taken any “constructive” position, and has worked to obstruct the Syrian political process represented by the Constitutional Committee. He pointed out that his country seeks to start a new political era regarding Syria. 

“When we want to convey a message, we send it through Iran and Russia. But this is not a sustainable situation that can be sustained. Political steps must be taken.”   

Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said the Syrian opposition was “legitimate” and opposition factions did not trust the Syrian regime and did not want to work with it. He said they were “right” to do so.   

Several Turkish statements in recent weeks have hinted at Ankara’s changing approach to the Syrian issue and dialogue with the Assad regime. The controversy began after the statement of Turkey’s Foreign Minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, who called for “reconciliation between the Syrian regime and the opposition, in some way.” 

So far, the trajectory of the relationship between the Syrian regime and Turkey remains “hazy,” due to considerations related to issues that observers see as “thorny,” whether political and military, or those related to the issue of Syrian refugees estimated to number in the millions. 


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.

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