Alexander Lavrentiev, the Russian president’s envoy to Syria, is visiting the Turkish capital, Ankara, at the head of a high-level delegation, according to Turkish reports.
The Turkish newspaper Daily Sabah, which is close to the government, reported on Wednesday that Lavrentiev will make a “critical” visit to Ankara this week on December 8th and 9th.
According to the Turkish newspaper, Putin’s envoy to Syria will discuss the issue of the ground military operation against the SDF in Syria during his meeting with senior Turkish officials.
Lavrentiev had previously called on Turkey to “show restraint and prevent an escalation of tensions, not only in the northern and northeastern regions of Syria, but throughout the region.”
“We hope to convince our Turkish partners to refrain from using excessive force on Syrian territory,” Lavrentiev said on the sidelines of the Astana meetings on November 22nd. He added that Russia would work with the relevant parties to find a peaceful solution to the matter.
“For months, Russia has done everything it can to prevent any large-scale ground operation,” he said.
For its part, Al-Jazeera quoted a Turkish official source as saying that Putin’s envoy to Syria will visit Ankara on Thursday on a two-day visit. During the trip, he will discuss the situation in northern Syria with Turkish officials.
Other reports expected that Lavrentiev will discuss the issue of “rapprochement” between Turkey and the Assad regime, and the possibility of holding a meeting between Erdogan and Assad before the Turkish elections, which are scheduled for mid-2023.
Last month, Lavrentiev said on the sidelines of the Astana Talks that Russia is working towards arranging a meeting between Erdogan and Assad in Moscow. He added that Russia “has received signals from Ankara and Damascus about readiness to take steps towards each other,” expressing his hope for rapprochement between the two countries.
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.