Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu revealed the reasons for postponing the “quadripartite meeting” in Moscow on the process of building dialogue between Ankara and the Syrian regime, explaining that it is related to the Russian side.
Cavusoglu told reporters on Monday: “The Russians said: ‘We couldn’t prepare for it, let’s postpone it. But the Syrian regime was present, and they may have made a joint decision.”
“Then they (the Russians) said, ‘We’re going to do it in the future,’ and we said okay.”
When asked about the visit to Moscow by Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, the Turkish minister added that he could not comment on the talks between the two sides.
“The quadripartite meeting was a Russian offer, and they are waiting for history from Russia,” he said.
Moscow was scheduled to witness a meeting on March 15th and 16th at the level of deputy foreign ministers of Turkey, Russia, the Syrian regime and Turkey.
While Turkish media confirmed this timing, Russia and Iran did not confirm it. Bashar al-Assad hinted in an interview with Russia Today that the reason for the postponement was the regime’s delegation not accepting to attend the meeting because there was no clear agenda.
Assad said that “the Turkish delegation proposed for the quadripartite meeting, that there be no agenda for the meeting, and that there should be no conditions or any expectations.” He added: “We insist that either there be a clear agenda or that we confirm the withdrawal item.”
Assad considered that attending the meeting would not be before the participating parties agreed to set a clear agenda based on withdrawing Turkish forces from Syria.
The first high-level bilateral contact between Ankara and the Assad regime since the start of the revolution took place on December 28, 2022, with the meeting of the Minister of Defense, Hulusi Akar and the Head of Intelligence, Hakan Fidan, with Assad’s Defense Minister, Ali Mahmoud Abbas, and his intelligence chief, Hossam Luka, in Moscow.
After this first meeting, an agreement emerged to develop the “Turkish-Syrian dialogue” in a way that also addresses political relations.
As a result of contacts in January, the foreign ministers of Turkey, Russia and Syria were planning to meet in a trilateral format in February.
However, this meeting was postponed indefinitely due to Iran’s desire to participate in the process and pressure on the parties in this direction, and then the February 6th earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria.
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.