Russia can see the sense in involving Iran in further meetings on the Turkey-Syria rapprochement process, Russia’s top diplomat Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday.
The Turkish president Erdoğan and his counterpart Bashar al-Assad had a close friendship until a civil war broke out in Syria in 2011. The Turkish government’s support to Syrian rebels turned once friends to bitter enemies, exchanging hard accusations with each other.
The Russian-brokered rapprochement between the two countries has been ushering in a new phase in Erdoğan’s policy towards Russia since the country’s national defence chiefs and intelligence chiefs met in Moscow.
“Russia, Iran, and Turkey are members of the Astana troika, which has been handling the Syrian settlement. Therefore, I consider it absolutely logical that any further communication on bringing relations between Turkey and Syria back to normal will also involve Russia and Iran,” Lavrov said at a press conference.
He also added that they have reached a relevant agreement regarding the negotiations.
Damascus’s precondition for the rapprochement requires Turkey to withdraw all its troops controlling territories in the north of Syria and cut off its support to three main opposition factions, a source close to the negotiations earlier told Reuters.
Some analysts claim that Ankara’s ultimate aim is to crush the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), its military wing the People’s Protection Units (YPG) and its internal security forces Asayish, while Damascus wants to get the Kurds on its side by destroying the partnership between the United States and the Kurdish groups.
Erdoğan and Assad are expected to meet in Moscow in the early days of spring.