Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently chaired a special meeting on security, political, and diplomatic matters. During the meeting, he approved a set of urgent requirements for Ankara, with the Syrian issue receiving top priority. This decision comes ahead of the upcoming quadripartite meeting of deputy foreign ministers from Russia, Iran, Syria, and Turkey on June 21 in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan. The purpose of the conference is to discuss the draft roadmap for Turkish-Syrian reconciliation.
According to sources close to Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan, as reported by the Rai al-Youm newspaper, the Syrian issue is being treated with utmost urgency. It is mentioned that the new Turkish minister has been engaging in a series of contacts with Arab officials in preparation for an event in Istanbul and Ankara. These engagements involve parliamentarians and the media and are aimed at achieving a significant breakthrough in the Syrian conflict. However, it remains uncertain whether this initiative will lead to a clear path for reconciliation between Turkey and Syria.
In line with these developments, the Turkish National Security Council has authorized Minister Hakan Fidan and Ibrahim Kalin, the head of the new Turkish intelligence service, to fully manage the relations with Syria. The measures taken by Turkey in this context are described as legal, political, and comprehensive, with the objective of resolving the problems that can be addressed with their neighbouring country, Syria.
The newspaper highlights that the Turkish-Syrian negotiations are expected to be more comprehensive this time, with direct supervision from the Russian channel, particularly due to the Kremlin’s sense of urgency. There have been talks about Russia’s desire to go beyond a summit meeting between Presidents Assad and Erdogan, which was initially agreed upon in Moscow but postponed until after the second round of the Turkish presidential elections. Moscow is keen on establishing rapid, tactical, and strategic relations, as well as fostering a significant level of openness between the two countries.
The article emphasizes that the Russians are placing their bets on Hakan Fidan, who is regarded as one of the prominent figures in the Turkish elite handling the Syrian issue. They believe Fidan’s understanding and experience can accelerate the pace of crucial negotiations that may lead to a level of openness indicating a complete regional shift. This shift goes beyond the security aspect and aims to restore diplomatic relations. Minister Fidan is proposing a new diplomatic approach in managing the complex relationship with Syria, suggesting a step-by-step process with a strong foundation and a period of negotiation. Although progress has been made under Russian supervision, the process is not yet complete.
The newspaper also notes that Turkey prefers not to disclose all the details regarding its relations with Syria to the Russian side. Turkey aims to maintain a certain level of privacy concerning bilateral relations and the complexities arising from being neighbouring country. These complexities include contentious border issues, closed crossings, lack of coordination following natural disasters, and border security concerns. The focus of the negotiations is on reaching an agreement on the definition of terrorism, as Turkey is directly affected by it within Syrian territory.
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.