Russia is coordinating with Syria, Iran and Turkey on a schedule for a meeting of their deputy foreign ministers, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov told the state RIA news agency on Tuesday.
A source from the Turkish foreign ministry told Reuters that a meeting planned for last week was postponed.
“We haven’t agreed on anything yet, so there’s nothing to postpone,” Bogdanov was cited as saying.
“We proceed from the fact that it should take place the sooner the better. But our colleagues, the Syrians, the Turks, and the Iranians, have their work plans and timetables. While there is no specific date, we will continue to coordinate.”
Obstacles Hindering the Turkish-Syrian Summit
But Turkish columnist Omer Onhon writes that obstacles still hinder this expected meeting.
Onhon noted that Erdogan wants something tangible with Assad before the critical elections on May 14th because he needs to show that despite all that has happened, he can still put things right, and he is the one who can solve the problem.
What drives Assad’s policy against Erdogan? Relations between Erdogan and Assad have been strained to the level of hostility since 2011. Realpolitik may bring them together around a table, but the mutual feeling of distrust and dislike is unlikely to go away soon, if ever.
Elections in Türkiye are to be held in a couple of months, and issues with roots in Syria, especially the return of Syrian refugees and security matters, will have an impact. Assad is unlikely to want to make an election gift to Erdogan by meeting him or reaching an agreement.
Donors’ Conference pledges €7 billion for quake-hit Syria, Turkey
The European Union (EU) and international donors pledged €7 billion to support people affected by the devastating earthquakes of February in Syria and Turkey, the EU announced on Tuesday, North Press reported.
The EU and the international donors pledged their support during the International Donors’ Conference hosted by Brussels and organized in coordination with the Turkish authorities.
The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen and Sweden Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson co-hosted the Conference.
Ursula von der Leyen said, “We have raised €7 billion to support the people” in both countries devastated by the earthquakes.
She stressed the EU’s commitment to supporting people in need and “we always stand by our partners.”
At the Conference, Sweden announced raising its total support to those affected by the earthquakes in Syria and Turkey to €45 million.
Sweden’s Prime Minister said, “Today’s meeting had one important goal: to turn our words of condolences and solidarity into action.”
He welcomed the “substantial results” of the Conference, confirming that “these are important first steps to help relief and recovery efforts in the earthquake-stricken areas.”
The moderators of the Conference were Minister for International Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Johan Forssell and Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement Olivér Várhely.
The Donors’ Conference was attended by representatives of EU Member States, candidate countries and potential candidate countries, neighbouring countries and partner countries, G20 countries (except for Russia), Gulf Cooperation Council Member States, the United Nations, international organizations, humanitarian actors, and international and European financial institutions.
Qatar, and Italy discuss aid to Syria following deadly earthquakes
Meanwhile, Qatar and Italy discussed efforts to provide much-needed humanitarian aid to Syria following the deadly earthquakes that struck the country on 6 February, on Sunday.
The discussions came during a meeting in Doha between Qatar’s Assistant Foreign Minister Lolwah Al Khater and Italy’s Special Envoy for the Syrian Crisis and the Anti-Daesh Coalition, Stefano Ravagnan.
“During the meeting, they discussed bilateral cooperation relations between the two countries, situation developments in Syria, and the possible efforts to provide humanitarian assistance to the fraternal people of Syria after the earthquake disaster,” Qatar’s foreign ministry said in a statement.
U.N. Humanitarian Chief Martin Griffiths to Visit Syria
The Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Martin Griffiths, is in Syria and has met with Syria’s Foreign Minister.
Mr. Griffiths w emphasized the need for continued expanded humanitarian access and scale up aid operations to address the growing needs throughout Syria, where the impact of the 6 February earthquake has exacerbated the already dire humanitarian situation.
Griffiths will meet with representatives of national and international NGOs and other humanitarian partners. In those meetings, Mr. Griffiths hopes to hear the challenges that humanitarian workers face and what can be done to bolster existing aid operations.
International Council Supporting Fair Trial and Human Rights calls on the international community to lift “embargo” on Syria
The International Council Supporting Fair Trial and Human Rights called on the international community to relinquish its incorrect approach towards Syria, address the humanitarian situation there and end the embargo imposed on the country.
According to SANA, Head of the Council, Abdul Hameed Dashti, in an interactive dialogue Tuesday with the so-called “International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic,” said it is the task of the international community to abandon its incorrect method regarding Syria and immediately move to lift the “embargo” on Syria.
Dashti regretted that the Human rights council is going ahead in applying the double standards policy, referring to the international community’s silence towards the Israeli crimes and the US against Syria