Turkish foreign minister meets with Syrian opposition
The recent trilateral discussions between the defense ministers of Turkiye, Russia, and Syria are considered the highest-level talks since the start of the war in 2011
By News Desk - January 03 2023

(Photo credit : Burhan Ozbilici/AP)

On 3 January, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu held a meeting with the chairman of the National Coalition for Syrian Opposition and Revolutionary Forces, Salem al Meslet, and the president of the Syrian Turkmen Assembly, Abdul Rahman Mustafa, according to Anadolu news agency.

“We reiterate our support for the opposition and the Syrian people in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 2254,” Cavusoglu said in a post on his official Twitter profile, referring to a 2015 UN request for a political solution and ceasefire in Syria.

The Turkish foreign minister’s meeting with the Syrian opposition comes a week after Defense Minister Hulusi Akar met with his Syrian and Russian counterparts in Moscow, signaling a possible rapprochement between Ankara and Damascus.

According to reports, the leaders and sympathizers of the Syrian opposition, who primarily live in areas of the war-torn nation that Ankara indirectly controls, are terrified by the proposed rapprochement.

Meanwhile, Cavusoglu stated that he anticipates meeting Faysal Mikdad, his Syrian counterpart, in Moscow in the second half of January.

Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has proposed a meeting of the foreign ministries after the defense ministers’ discussions to perhaps set up a presidential summit.

However, according to reports, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad will not agree to see Erdogan before Turkiye’s general election, which is currently slated for no later than June.

On the other hand, on 5 December, the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) announced the resumption of joint operations with US forces in northern Syria following tensions between the militia and Turkiye.

The spokesperson for the SDF refrained from commenting on the subject for the time being. 

In recent months, Ankara has increased its attacks in northern Syria against Kurdish militant groups, which Turkiye categorizes as terrorists. 

Ankara and Washington’s defense ministers discussed the situation in Syria during a phone conversation after Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu blasted the US for its continuous support of Kurdish militias, essentially calling for the dismantling of their ties.

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