The Kurdish-led administration in north Syria is suspicious about the quadripartite efforts of Turkey, Syria, Russia and Iran for the normalisation of relations between Damascus and Ankara, said Yasser Al-Suleiman, a senior official of the Autonomous Administration in North and East Syria (AANES) on Saturday.
“The quadripartite meeting won’t produce any results in favour of Syrians or end the Syrian tragedy, because it perpetuates the Turkish occupation of the Syrian territories, whereas the Syrian regime is not in a position to defend these territories,” Al-Suleiman, the deputy co-chairman of the autonomous administration’s general council, told Hawar News.
Those meetings will fail in producing positive results, according to Al-Suleiman, as “the [Syrian] regime is in a position of weakness, and the Russian guarantor seeks to achieve its investment interests, while Iran has a policy of expansion in the Arab countries”.
“The Autonomous Administration looks with suspicion at the Turkish-Syrian rapprochement and quadripartite meeting,” he said, adding that, as an integral part of Syria, the Kurdish-led administration in the north of the country should be informed of all agreements concerning the country.
A quadrilateral meeting between the deputy foreign ministers of Syria, Turkey, Russia and Iran was held on 4 April in Moscow.
After an almost 12-year fall out in once close relations, Syria and Turkey engaged in Russia-brokered reconciliation talks last year, with the highest level of meetings so far held by the three countries’ defence ministers and intelligence chiefs in December.
For reinstating ties with Ankara, Damascus demands the removal of all Turkish troops in Syria and an end to Turkey’s support to Syrian rebels.
Turkey has de facto control over large swathes of northwestern Syria occupied in subsequent offensives since 2016. Ankara claims the Kurdish-controlled territories near its border constitute a national security threat for Turkey, saying the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the region is affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). The Bashar Assad government also sees the SDF as a secessionist force and, like Ankara, is greatly disturbed by the partnership between the SDF and the US forces developed to defeat the Islamic State (ISIS) in the country.
Moscow described this week’s quadripartite consultations as “frank and direct,” while Ankara said they were held in a “transparent and clear manner,” without offering any details.
The Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the process of normalisation between Ankara and Damascus would take time, emphasising the importance to “look for common ground to reach a balance of interests and avoid preconditions” and promising that Moscow and Tehran will help create conditions for further talks.