Kurdistan Region – Turkey, Syria, Iran and Russia are set to hold a meeting at the deputy foreign minister level in Moscow over the next two days, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Sunday.
“As you know, the process of engagement with Syria has started under the hosting and facilitations from Russia, later Iran joined the process… quadripartite meeting on the level of Deputy Foreign Ministers will be held on April 3-4 in Moscow”, Cavusoglu said, speaking to reporters from the Turkevi Center in New York.
He added that Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will visit Turkey on Thursday for talks on Syria, Libya, the extension of the grain agreement, as well as other regional issues.
The talks come after Syria and Turkey took steps towards a rapprochement after nearly a decade of severed ties, a step which was welcomed by Iran.
In a press conference held with Cavusoglu on March 8 in Ankara, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said that his country “would join a quadrilateral format of talks” as an extension of the Astana format talks between Russia, Turkey and Syria.
Ankara previously stated they had no reservations and would be “pleased” with an Iranian inclusion in the discussions.
The quadripartite meeting marks a rare yet significant high-rank talk between the key players in the Syrian crisis since it began in 2011.
The meeting was initially set to be tripartite, but Iran was added to the discussions after expressing the country’s desire to be a part of the conversation.
Turkey and Syria enjoyed strong relations until civil war broke out 12 years ago, with Ankara entering the conflict by backing the rebels fighting against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.
In spite of the efforts of rapprochement, a lot remain to be mended, as Syrian President Assad told Russian media that there was no point in a meeting with Erdogan until Turkey’s “illegal occupation” ended.
Despite efforts to mend ties, a long road remains ahead. Assad previously said that a meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was not in sight until Turkey’s “illegal occupation” of parts of Syria ended.
The defense ministers of Syria and Turkey met in December, marking the highest level talks.
Source : Rudaw