Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Syria’s Assad says will not meet Erdogan, Insists on Turkish Troops Withdrawal

In an interview with Sky News Arabia on August 9, 2023, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said he would not meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan until Turkey withdraws its troops from Syria. Assad accused Turkey of supporting terrorism in Syria and said that a meeting with Erdogan would be “legitimizing the Turkish occupation.”

The interview comes amid a recent thaw in relations between Turkey and Syria. In May, the two countries’ defense and foreign ministers met under Russian and Iranian mediation to discuss ways to improve relations. However, Assad’s comments suggest that the two countries are still far apart on the issue of Turkish troops in Syria.

Turkey has been a major supporter of Syrian rebels fighting against the Assad government. In 2016, Turkey launched a military operation into northern Syria

Assad’s refusal to meet with Erdogan is a sign that he is not interested in normalizing relations with Turkey until Turkey withdraws its troops from Syria. This is a major obstacle to any peace process in Syria, and it is likely to keep the two countries at odds for the foreseeable future.

Attempts to normalise relations between the two nations have been severely hampered by the refusal of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The two countries have been at odds for years, and the Turkish military operation in northern Syria has further strained relations.

Assad has been gaining some importance in the region again as Syria returned to Arab League this year after more than a decade. Assad’s decision to not meet with Erdogan is likely due to several factors. Concerns about legitimizing the Turkish occupation of northern Syria through a meeting with Erdogan.and potential effort to pressure Turkey into withdrawing its troops from Syria by refusing to meet with Erdogan.

Aimen Jamil
Aimen Jamil's intellectual curiosity lies at the intersection of Middle East and Pakistan Foreign Policy.

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