According to Turkish diplomatic sources, the meeting of the deputy foreign ministers of Turkey, Russia, Iran, and Syria will occur in Moscow, Russia, on Wednesday, March 15th and Thursday, March 16th.
The Turkish news agency, Anadolu Agency, has reported, citing unnamed diplomatic sources, that the Turkish delegation will be led by Deputy Foreign Minister Burak Akjabar during the upcoming meeting in Moscow with representatives from Russia, Iran, and Syria.
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According to the same sources, the meeting in Moscow will be attended by a delegation from Russia, including Mikhail Bogdanov, who is the special representative of Russian President Vladimir Putin for the Middle East and African countries, as well as Ali Asgari Haji, who is a political affairs adviser. The Syrian delegation will be represented by Ayman Sousan, the Deputy Foreign Minister of Syria.
Hours before the Turkish announcement, the local newspaper “Al-Watan” reported that no specific dates were set for the meeting of deputy foreign ministers from Turkey, Russia, Iran, and Syria. The newspaper also noted that diplomatic efforts led by Russia and Iran were ongoing and that there was still an opportunity to reach a consensus leading to the quadripartite meeting.
According to sources cited by the newspaper, the details for the quadripartite meeting have not yet been finalized. Syria’s position remains the same until it obtains guarantees from Turkey regarding the withdrawal of Turkish forces from its territory. The sources emphasized that Syria’s position is a precondition for any political meeting that would bring the two sides to the negotiating table.
This comes without any official statements from the Syrian Foreign Ministry on the quadripartite meeting to be held in Moscow next Wednesday.
Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal al-Mekdad did not mention Syria’s presence at the Moscow meeting during a press conference he held with his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir-Abdollahian last Thursday in Damascus.
During his meeting with the Iranian Foreign Minister, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad welcomed the participation of the Iranian side in the quadripartite meetings, emphasizing the importance of thorough preparation based on a specific and clear agenda, titles, and expected outcomes.
Recently, the Russian Foreign Ministry extended invitations to all concerned parties to attend a quadripartite meeting in Moscow involving Syria, Turkey, and Iran. However, the Ministry stated that it was still waiting for a response from Syria and Iran regarding their participation in the meeting.
According to the Russian news agency TASS, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov has stated that Russia intends to hold a quadripartite meeting at the level of deputy foreign ministers in Moscow next week. However, there has been no response from Syria and Iran regarding their participation in the meeting.
“We have extended invitations to all concerned parties, but we have yet to receive confirmations from all participants,” Bogdanov stated before adding that they have reached an agreement with the Turkish side but are still awaiting responses from Syria and Iran regarding their willingness to participate in the meeting.
The Russian diplomat pointed out that “this meeting will be a technical meeting at the level of deputy foreign ministers and charged with preparing for the meeting of foreign ministers of the four countries.”
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On a similar note, the Lebanese website al-Modon has reported that Russia, Turkey, and Iran have indirectly responded to the Syrian regime’s leaked demand for guarantees from Ankara by inviting the Syrian regime to participate in the mid-March Moscow meeting. This decision was announced by the three countries jointly.
The pro-Syrian regime newspaper Al-Watan quoted sources, described as a “follow-up,” stating that Syria’s position remains unchanged until obtaining Turkish guarantees to withdraw from its territory before any political meeting that brings the two parties to the same negotiating table. The newspaper’s sources referred to the statement issued by the regime after the recent visit of the Iranian Foreign Minister to Damascus and his meeting with the head of the regime, Bashar al-Assad, and several of his officials. The statement emphasized the need for good preparation for the meetings concerning the dialogue between Ankara and the Syrian regime based on a clear agenda, titles, and outputs.
The newspaper’s pro-regime sources denied the existence of any specific dates for the quadripartite meeting. Instead, they have highlighted the ongoing diplomatic efforts led by Russia and Tehran and have emphasized that the possibility of reaching a consensus leading to the quadripartite meeting remains open.
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.