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Syrian & Turkish Officials May Meet in Moscow

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According Arab media, director of the Syrian National Security Bureau, Gen. Ali Mamlouk and Turkish officials may meet in Moscow. At the same time, there is almost no chance that the meeting will be held between heads of the two countries.

Syrian & Turkish Officials May Meet in Moscow

Erdogan and Assad during happier times in 2011 (Photo: AFP)

Turkish officials and director of the Syrian National Security Bureau, Gen. Ali Mamlouk, may meet in Moscow, the al-Hadath newspaper reported on September 6.

According to the Arab newspaper, at the moment, there is almost no chance that the meeting will be held between heads of the two countries, despite the fact that Ankara has showed an interest in it and is trying to approach Damascus. But a meeting between top security officials or military authorities seems much more likely, since Turkey has started to send positive signals to convince Syria and its allies that a practical shift in policy will be started very soon.

“Nevertheless, there is no serious development of Turkey’s current positions on the Syrian war, as Ankara has only in words replaced some terrorist groups with their militant comrades in Jarabulus, and had informed only Moscow, but not Damascus, about its military operations in Syria,” the piece read.

Meanwhile, Russia is trying to improve relations between Turkey and Syria, as well as relations between the US and Syria. As of today, the US, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Jordan are faced with a dilemma because these countries may attempt to change its policy towards President Bashar al-Assad’s government, like Ankara is doing this.

Last month, Arab media reported that negotiations between officials from the Syrian government and Turkish authorities were held with the mediation of Iran. The main aim of the talks was discussion of a possibility to reach reconciliation between Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Turkish President Recep Erdogan.

According to the Asharq al-Awsat newspaper, it is expected that the Turkish President will soften his tone towards President Assad’s government in exchange for Syrian cooperation to prevent establishment of any Kurdish entity in Northern Syria.

The newspaper also reported, citing its unnamed source, that Ismail Hakki, one of the leading Turkish diplomats, was a negotiator, who represented the Turkish side during the talks. Hakki is a retired general, who supervised an agreement, reached between Syria and Turkey in 1998, during a crisis with head of Kurdistan Workers’ Party Abdullah Ocalan, who was imprisoned on Imrali Island 17 years ago.

Hakki has held meetings with a number of Syrian officials in Damascus, including Abdullah Al-Ahmar, a Syrian politician and prominent member of the Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party, Ali Mamlouk, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem and his deputy Feisal Mikdad.

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