Senior Russian and Turkish officials held a meeting on the Syrian crisis in Moscow on Saturday. The sides discussed anti-terrorism issues, the withdrawal of U.S. forces and the political process in the country.
The Turkish side was represented by Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, intelligence chief Hakan Fidan and presidential aide Ibrahim Kalin, while Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu, chief of General Staff Valery Gerasimov, Presidential Envoy for Syria Alexander Lavrentiev, and presidential aide Yuri Ushakov represented Russia.
Following the meeting, Cavusoglu praised the Russian-Turkish cooperation on Syria and said that both counties will continue to work together to defend Syria’s “territorial integrity and political unity.”
“We will continue close cooperation with Russia and Iran on Syria and regional issues,” the Turkish Anadolu Agency quoted Cavusoglu as saying.
From his side, Lavrov said that the high-level Russian-Turkish meeting was “very useful” and confirmed that the two side discussed several issues in Moscow.
“Following the agreements, which were reached by our presidents, we discussed further steps to implement those tasks, which were outlined in the Astana format, primarily in the context of fighting terrorism, resolving humanitarian issues and creating conditions for refugees’ return,” the Russian foreign minister said, according to the Russian news agency TASS.
Both sides have not commented on the situation in the Syrian area of Manbij, where Turkish forces and Russian forces are now deployed. This may indicate that Moscow and Ankara have failed to reach an understanding on the issue, as for now.