Sunday, February 25, 2024
الرئيسيةسياسةA "road map" for the normalization of Syrian relations

A “road map” for the normalization of Syrian relations

A “road map” for the normalization of Syrian-Turkish relations

The results of the meeting of the foreign ministers of Russia, Syria, Turkey and Iran in Moscow, on Wednesday, put the file of normalization of relations between Moscow and Ankara on the path of practical implementation, in a step that constituted a success for Russian diplomacy, and reflected insistence on overcoming the contentious points that hindered the advancement of the Russian initiative during the past months.

Although the parties pre-empted the ministerial meeting by repeating their previous positions, the agreement to launch a “road map” to complete “normalization of relations in all fields” constituted a quantum leap in breaking the barrier of loss of confidence and moving towards expanding contacts between Damascus and Ankara.

The quadripartite meeting took place behind closed doors, and included bilateral talks between the delegations present, after its date was postponed several times, and is an important starting point, according to Russian diplomatic sources, who praised “the success of Russian diplomacy in putting the track on the track of implementation despite the obstacles that stood in its way.”

And she added that the importance of the meeting is not limited to the “positive” results it resulted in, but rather goes beyond that to launch a strong push to activate contacts at various levels between Damascus and Ankara, noting that this is the first direct meeting between the Syrian and Turkish foreign ministers.

In a statement, the Russian Foreign Ministry expressed satisfaction with the course of the talks, describing the round of dialogue as “positive and constructive,” and said that the parties agreed to “continue high-level contacts.”

According to the Foreign Ministry’s statement, “the meeting ministers discussed objectively and frankly all aspects of the file of resuming Syrian-Turkish relations in various fields.”

He added that the participants “reaffirmed commitment to Syria’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and territorial integrity based on UN Security Council Resolution No. 2254 and the official statements of the Astana formula.”

The fight against terrorism in all its forms and manifestations was also emphasized. Participants renewed calls for increased international assistance to Syria, including in favor of the voluntary, safe and dignified return of Syrians to their homeland and post-conflict reconstruction.

In the practical part related to activating contacts during the next stage and advancing the path of normalization, the foreign ministry statement said that the meeting ministers agreed to assign deputy ministers to prepare a “road map” to advance relations between Turkey and Syria, in coordination with the work of the ministries of defense and special agencies in Syria, Turkey, Russia and Iran.

The Syrian News Agency said that the final statement of the meeting of the foreign ministers of Syria, Russia, Turkey and Iran in Moscow today, Wednesday, agreed to assign deputy foreign ministers to prepare a “road map” for developing relations between Syria and Turkey.

The statement stated that Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity were also emphasized, as well as the demand for increased international aid for the reconstruction of Syria, and assistance in the return of Syrian refugees to their homeland.

Earlier today, Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal al-Miqdad said that there is an opportunity for joint action with Ankara, but he stressed that ending the “illegal” military presence in Syria, including the Turkish presence, is a primary goal for his country.

At the outset of the meeting, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stressed the importance of reaching tangible results for the meeting.

The minister pointed to the special importance that Moscow attaches to restoring logistical ties between Damascus and Ankara, and called on those present to support Moscow’s initiative to develop a “road map for normalizing relations.”

Lavrov said, “The best result of our meeting today may be reaching an agreement to direct the experts to prepare a draft road map for Syrian-Turkish normalization by the time of the next ministerial meeting, after which it will be submitted to our heads of state.”

He explained, “This road map should make it possible to clearly define the positions of Syria and Turkey on the issues of priority to them, which means resolving the problem of restoring the Syrian government’s control over all the country’s lands, ensuring reliable security for the 950-kilometer common border with Turkey, and preventing attacks.” crossed the border and infiltrated terrorists ».

Lavrov warned that “according to our information, the Americans have begun to form the so-called (Free Syrian Army) in the Syrian vicinity of Raqqa, with the participation of representatives of local Arab clans, ISIS militants and other terrorist organizations, with the clear aim of using these militants against the legitimate authorities.” in Syria to destabilize the country,” adding that this issue was discussed by the defense ministers of the four countries during the meeting that took place in Moscow last month.

The Russian minister stressed that facilitating the safe return of Syrian refugees to their homeland is a priority for Russia, Syria, Turkey and Iran.

He believed that the launch of the Syrian-Turkish normalization process based on the “Astana formula” would have a positive impact, not only on the situation around Syria, but also on the general atmosphere in the Middle East region as a whole.

The meeting kicks off

The work of the meeting of the foreign ministers of Syria, Russia, Turkey and Iran began on Wednesday morning, amid hopes that the meeting would succeed in achieving a consensus that pushes towards arranging a four-way summit during the coming period. Statements prior to the meeting showed the parties’ keenness to confirm previous positions.

Lavrov opened the preliminary session of the meeting by stressing that the quadruple effort stems from the results achieved during the meetings of defense ministers and heads of security services in the four countries, which were held in Moscow last April. He affirmed his country’s positions regarding the files presented.

Lavrov stressed the importance of advancing the path of rapprochement between Damascus and Ankara, and said that the files presented must reflect the interests of all parties, especially Syria and Turkey, in addition to strengthening the path of combating terrorism and ensuring the security requirements of all parties.

Lavrov pointed out the importance of setting appropriate conditions for the return of refugees, and settling outstanding issues. He touched on the American presence in Syria, stressing the importance of ending the illegal military presence on Syrian territory. Lavrov took advantage of the occasion to confirm his country’s welcome to the steps to normalize relations between Damascus and Arab capitals, and welcomed the decision to lift the freeze on Syria’s participation in the meetings of the Arab League.

After the start of the plenary session of the ministerial meeting, the parties are expected to hold bilateral meetings. In preparation for the expanded ministerial session. The meetings are taking place behind closed doors, amid expectations that they will result in important consensuses, after Moscow stressed, in the preliminary contacts, the importance of advancing the path of rapprochement and the success of the Russian initiative.


The delegations’ initial statements showed the parties’ keenness to confirm previous positions, and Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian expressed his hope that the Moscow quadripartite meeting would send a strong message that Turkey and Syria are focused on finding a political solution, with agreement on the withdrawal of foreign military forces, and the provision of a safe return for refugees.

Upon his arrival in Moscow at dawn on Wednesday, Abdollahian said, “In the past year, very difficult conditions have arisen in the region, and the possibility of a military conflict in Syria’s military zones by Turkey has increased, and many diplomatic efforts have been made to prevent the outbreak of war and a new conflict in the region. On the common border between Turkey and Syria. And he believed that the Moscow meeting is a continuation of “Iran’s efforts and the joint efforts of Iran and Russia, which were launched at the meeting of the leaders of the Astana process in Tehran, which was hosted by the Iranian president, and one of its results is the focus on finding a political solution.”

And the Iranian minister added, “We hope that the steps that have been taken so far, and the meetings held in Moscow at the level of defense ministers and senior experts, and the quadripartite meeting today in Moscow, will deliver a strong message that Turkey and Syria are focused on a political solution and the withdrawal of military forces.” And the withdrawal of the American occupation forces from the northern regions of Syria, and at the same time, the safe return of Syrian refugees to their areas should be provided as soon as possible.

Part of the quartet meeting today (AFP)

Abdollahian stressed, in a tweet on Twitter, that “Iran’s dynamic and multifaceted diplomacy can draw the horizon for the end of the main challenges for the entire region, by completing the rapprochement process.”

Syria: Foreign Withdrawal

Damascus preceded the meeting by affirming its previous conditions regarding the need to agree on a complete withdrawal of the Turkish forces, and to stop supporting the Syrian opposition factions, which the Syrian authorities consider terrorists, while the parties pin their hopes on the success of the ministerial meeting in achieving consensus that pushes the arrangements for holding a quadripartite summit that puts the path of normalization on the track of implementation. .

For its part, the Syrian “Foreign Ministry” announced that the Syrian delegation to the quadrilateral meeting, led by Foreign Minister Faisal Al-Miqdad, will seek to stress “the need to end the Turkish occupation of Syrian lands, and the withdrawal of all illegal foreign forces from it, in addition to non-interference in Syrian internal affairs.” and not support terrorism.

The Syrian Foreign Ministry said, in its statement, that the Syrian delegation includes, in addition to the minister, Ayman Soussan, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates, Bashar al-Jaafari, the Syrian ambassador to Moscow, Jamal Najib, Director of the Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Counselor Ihab Hamed. The delegation is expected to hold bilateral meetings with the Russian and Iranian delegations.

The ministry said, in its statement, that the Damascus delegation “will stress the necessity of ending the Turkish occupation of Syrian lands, the withdrawal of all illegal foreign forces from it, in addition to not interfering in Syrian internal affairs, and not supporting terrorism.”

Türkiye: the need for cooperation

Turkey announced that the quartet meeting for normalization with Syria confirmed its three constants in the process of normalizing relations with Syria.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said, in a tweet on his Twitter account, that the quartet meeting, which included the foreign ministers of Russia, Syria and Iran, stressed the need for cooperation in combating terrorism, providing infrastructure for the return of refugees, advancing the political process, and Syria’s territorial integrity. .

On the eve of the meeting, Cavusoglu stated that his country aims to achieve lasting stability and peace in Syria, to ensure the return of Syrians to their country, and to cooperate in combating terrorist organizations, referring to the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, which are the largest components of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which Ankara considers it an extension of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Syria.

On the eve of the Moscow meeting, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar revealed an agreement to establish a military coordination center in Syria, with the participation of Turkey, Russia, Syria and Iran.

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusus Akar

He said, “We raised, during the meeting of defense ministers and heads of intelligence services in the four countries that was held in Moscow on April 25, the need to work together to combat terrorism, and we agreed in this context to establish a coordination center on Syrian territory.”

Akar stressed that “Turkey will not tolerate any additional influx of refugees.” He said, “This is why it is important for us to be in Syria. We are working intensively to normalize life in the areas that we cleared in northern Syria… Terrorists are using Syria’s capabilities and usurping the rights of citizens.”

In turn, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that President Bashar al-Assad’s regime is not yet able to protect the border areas with his country or secure the return of refugees.

He pointed out that the Syrian regime also wants the refugees to return to their country, but that requires providing them with security and meeting their needs, and “the regime is currently unable to do so sufficiently.”

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