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Syrian President Rejected Russian Proposal To Attend Ankara Summit – Report

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Syrian President Rejected Russian Proposal To Attend Ankara Summit – Report

Hassan Rouhani, Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Sochi. Photograph: Tass/Barcroft Images

On April 6, an unnamed senior Syrian official told the Lebanese al-Akhbar newspaper that Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad had rejected a Russian proposal to attend Ankara summit, which was held on April 4.

According to the senior official, Russia assured al-Assad that Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will welcome him if he would agree to attend the summit. However, the Syrian president apologized to Russia for not participating in the summit due to “many reasons,” including the Turkish occupation of some areas in northern Syria.

Many Syrian officials have refused to confirm or deny these claims, according to al-Akhbar. One of the officials told the Lebanese newspaper that the Damascus government will not reconcile with any country that continues its “aggression” against the Syrian sovereignty.

Many observers noted that Erdogan had used a more tolerate language when talking about the Damascus government during the Ankara summit. At the same time, the Turkish president stressed that Turkey will continue its military operations against Kurdish armed groups inside Syria.

During the last few months many Turkish politicians, including allies of Erdogan, called on the Turkish government to reestablish relations with the Damascus government in order to coordinate against the US-led coalition and Kurdish forces.

These developments suggests that there is a chance that we may see the Syrian president side by side with his Turkish counterpart during the upcoming Russian-Turkish-Iranian summit, that is set to be held in the Iranian capital, Tehran.

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