On the meeting of the defence ministers of Turkey, Russia and Syria in Moscow at the beginning of 2023, and the subsequent statements in this context, the Turkish rapprochement with the regime is a fait accompli. The development has become a matter of time waiting to complete its steps. Now, the focus has moved to the next step, which is the meeting of Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and his Syrian counterpart, Faisal Mekdad, under Russia’s auspices and presence.
A few days ago, the visit to Damascus of the UAE Foreign Minister, Abdullah bin Zayed, escalated speculation about the Emirati role and the possible presence of bin Zayed at the meeting. This would turn the meeting into a four-way event in Abu Dhabi. On December 31st, 2022 Cavusoglu further fuelled this speculation, saying that the meeting may be held in Russia or another country.
According to a report published by Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper on Sunday, there was talk of holding the tripartite meeting in Moscow (next Wednesday) in light of efforts to arrange the participation of the UAE foreign minister.
This hypothesis intersects with a report published by the Lebanese newspaper An-Nahar on January 7th, which touched on the imminent meeting of the foreign ministers of the three parties within a period not exceeding a week.
An-Nahar also boosted the possibility that Abu Dhabi would host the ministerial meeting, based on the call of the foreign ministers of Turkey and the UAE, which preceded the latter’s visit to Damascus by one day.
On Monday, the newspaper Al-Watan, which is close to the regime, published on its front page a denial that a meeting of foreign ministers would be held in Moscow this week. Unnamed sources provided the denial.
The newspaper also quoted sources as saying that there are still no specific dates for the meeting, and everything published so far is “baseless.”
The journalist also linked the date of the meeting to the progress of the specialized committees formed after the tripartite meeting in Moscow at the beginning of the year, justifying this by following up and ensuring the proper implementation of what was agreed.
This contradicts what was reported by Middle East Eye on January 2nd, as it denied, quoting a Turkish source who described it as “knowledgeable,” without naming him, that any decisions had been reached during the trilateral meeting in Moscow.
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.