Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he has presented Russian President Vladimir Putin with an action plan for talks with the regime of Bashar al-Assad.
Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Erdogan said he had offered Putin to formulate a mechanism to speed up the diplomatic track with the regime.
“We want to implement trilateral steps between Turkey, Russia and Syria,” he said.
“Our intelligence organizations must meet first, then our defense ministers must meet, then our foreign ministers,” he said.
According to Erdogan, “after that, the leaders of the two countries can meet and start a series of negotiations,” referring to the meeting with Bashar al-Assad.
He said he had presented it to the Russian president and “looked at it positively.”
“The decisive factor in the steps we will take regarding Syria will be our national interests,” he said.
On the U.S. rejection of the Turkish rapprochement with the regime and meeting Assad, Erdogan said, “I decide who, when and how to meet someone. I had a meeting with the president of Egypt in Qatar; I did not get permission from anyone.”
In a related context, he considered that the oil wells in Syria are under the protection of the coalition forces, and that the SDF sells oil to the regime. He stressed that “the terrorist organization is the one who sells. We have been patient so far, but we ran out of patience.”
Russia, which is the Assad regime’s main backer, plays a role in persuading Ankara to talk directly with the regime and forge a path to resolve various contentious issues between the two sides.
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.