April 2, 2023

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Damascus wants Iran to be involved in political initiatives in Syria

TEHRAN – Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad said on Sunday that it is necessary that Iran play a role in “any political initiative” in his country as he lauded Tehran’s constructive role in fighting terrorism in Syria and helping settle the crisis in the Arab country.

Mekdad made the comments in a phone call with his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir Abdollahian.

Iran and Russia, as the allies of the Syrian government, as well as Turkey, which sides with the opposition, set up the Astana peace process in January 2017 to put an end to the Syrian conflict through the involvement of the Syrian government and the opposition.

In their Sunday talks, Mekdad and Amir Abdollahian also talked about the latest state in ties as well as developments in Syria and the region.

They also underlined the resolve of the high-ranking officials in Syria and Iran to cement ties in different spheres.

Last month, Amir Abdollahian reaffirmed Iran’s support for political processes in resolving disputes in Syria, describing cooperation among regional states as the sole way to ensure sustainable security in Syria.

It seems that Syria is on the path to stability after efforts to topple the Syrian government ended in failure.

Turkey as one of the countries which was hellbent on overthrowing the Syrian government and allowed militants from different parts of the world to pour into Syria through Turkey is now mulling a summit between the Turkish and Syrian leaders.

According to Al Jazeera, President Erdogan said on Thursday he may sit down with the Syrian president to foster peace and stability in Syria. Erdogan made the remarks a week after a meeting between the Turkish and Syrian defense ministers.

The Russian, Turkish and Syrian defense chiefs and top intelligence officers held surprise talks in Moscow on December 28 in the highest level of official contact between the archrivals in more than a decade.

“Turkey, Russia and Syria have launched a process in Moscow,” the Turkish president said, speaking in the capital Ankara on Thursday, adding that the foreign ministers of the three countries are expected to gather in a trilateral format soon.

“After that we may meet as the Russian, Turkish, and Syrian leaders, depending on the developments. Our aim is to establish peace and stability in the region,” Erdogan claimed.

Mensur Akgun, a professor of international relations, said Ankara’s recent change of approach towards al-Assad stems from major shifts in dynamics in the region compared with 11 years ago when the ties between the two countries were officially cut at the height of the Arab Spring.

He also believes that Russia played a key role in starting the recent dialogue between the two archrivals.

“As a result of Turkey’s developing special relationship with Russia, Moscow has pursued Ankara’s interests more in its relations with Syria, pressuring the Assad government in this direction,” Akgun told Al Jazeera.

Turkey has backed and hosted Syria’s opposition in the country since the beginning of the conflict.

Akgun believes that Ankara’s security concerns in Syria also played a large role in the rapprochement between Damascus and Ankara.

“Turkey believes that if it can cooperate with Syria, the majority of its security concerns within Syria will be addressed and the responsibilities it is carrying in this context will be delegated to the Syrian government,” Akgun told Al Jazeera.

Ankara has conducted four military operations in northern Syria since the beginning of the war, mainly targeting Syrian Kurdish fighters who are allied with Western powers in the fight against Daesh (ISIS).

A warming of ties between the Turkish and Syrian governments looked impossible in the earlier days of the Syrian conflict. Turkish officials called al-Assad a “terrorist”, rejecting any dialogue with his leadership, while al-Assad accused Turkey of invading Syrian land.

Original News : https://www.tehrantimes.com/news/480658/Damascus-wants-Iran-to-be-involved-in-political-initiatives-in

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