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Thursday, November 24, 2022, 10:17
Erdogan not rule out meeting with Syria's Assad
By Xinhua
Thursday, November 24, 2022, 10:17 By Xinhua

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan greets during Turkish Armed Forces Day to mark the 100th anniversary of Türkiye's victory against the Greek army in the Dumlupinar Battle in 1922, at Anitkabir, at the mausoleum of Turkish Republic's Founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, in Ankara, Turkey on Aug 30, 2022. (DEM ALTAN / AFP)

ANKARA – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Wednesday he did not rule out a meeting with his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad following a decade of ruptured ties.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's remarks came at a time when Türkiye carried out an aerial campaign into northern Syria and vowed to further launch a ground offensive against the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) in the neighboring country

"A meeting with Assad can take place. There is no resentment in politics. Sooner or later, we can take steps," Erdogan told reporters when asked if he could meet with Assad as he did with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi in Qatar over the weekend.

ALSO READ: Truce ends clashes among Türkiye-backed rebels in northwest Syria

Erdogan and Assad have not met since the outbreak of Syria's civil war in 2011. The two leaders had close ties before Türkiye backed Syrian rebels when the Syrian civil war erupted. Since the beginning of the war in Syria, the Turkish leader had been calling for the removal of the Syrian president.

Erdogan and Assad had traded harsh blame till the past two years when Ankara stepped up to mend its bilateral ties with regional rivals.

Erdogan's remarks came at a time when Türkiye carried out an aerial campaign into northern Syria and vowed to further launch a ground offensive against the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) in the neighboring country.

READ MORE: Türkiye to tackle security concern in Syria with new operation

In August, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu confirmed that he briefly met with his Syrian counterpart Faisal Mekdad in October last year in Serbia's capital Belgrade, the first such high-level contact since 2011.

The Turkish top diplomat said that his country does not have any precondition for dialogue with the Syrian government if the talks are "goal-oriented."


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