Moscow May Resume Normalization Talks between Ankara, Damascus – Saeed Abdulrazek / ASHARQ AL-AWSAT

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Turkish sources revealed that new steps may be taken to resume discussions to normalize relations between Türkiye and Syria in line with the Astana path.

Asharq Al-Awsat, June 18, 2024, by Saeed Abdulrazek

Normalization efforts, which had been sponsored by Moscow, had stalled since June last year.

Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan proposed resuming the talks during a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow last week.

The sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that more discussions will be held over the issue when Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan meet in Astana on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) on July 3 and 4.

Putin and Fidan had discussed the situation in Syria and Ankara’s rejection of elections in regions in northeastern Syria that are held by the Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

Ankara believes the polls pose a threat to Türkiye’s national security.

Türkiye believes Damascus must show the “appropriate” stance towards these elections, added the sources.

The elections were supposed to be held on June 11 but have been postponed to August.

Erdogan said last week that the postponement was aimed at adding legitimacy to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and its Syrian arm, the People’s Protection Units (YPG) – the SDF’s military wing.

Erdogan said: “There is no doubt that the Syrian administration won’t allow the election to happen or won’t allow steps to be taken in that direction.”

Observers said his words reflect coordination between Moscow, Ankara and Damascus to bar the elections.

Putin had said he hopes to meet with Erdogan in Astana to discuss several issues, including the war in Ukraine.

Observers said his remarks were a sign that Moscow was keen on reviving the normalization talks between Ankara and Damascus.

The sources stressed that Russia, Türkiye and Syria all oppose the elections, so an agreement may be reached between them.

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