Alexander Lavrentyev, the Special Envoy to Syria from the Russian President, announced the failure of efforts to normalise relations between Turkey and the Syrian regime, as reported by Al Modon on Tuesday.
The collapse occurred towards the end of 2023, halting the progress that had been made. The Syrian regime’s demand for long-term withdrawal guarantees of Turkish forces from Syria was identified as a primary stumbling block.
According to Al Modon, despite informal indications from former Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Cavuşoğlu about a potential withdrawal, the lack of an official commitment remains a significant obstacle for Damascus. This impasse stems from the Syrian government’s reluctance to negotiate with a nation occupying parts of its territory.
Despite these setbacks, Lavrentyev emphasised the importance of Syrian-Turkish normalisation within Russia’s approach to the Syrian settlement. Efforts in 2023 included not only expert-level meetings but also expanded to a quadripartite dialogue involving Iran, with active participation from defence and foreign ministers.