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HomeIndiaAssad visits Moscow for talks on Turkiye-Syria relations - WorldNews WAALI

Assad visits Moscow for talks on Turkiye-Syria relations – WorldNews WAALI

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MOSCOW: Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday welcomed Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad for talks as the Kremlin stepped up efforts to reconcile Ankara and Moscow’s Damascus ally.

Helping to restore relations between Turkiye and Syria offers the Kremlin an opportunity to gather diplomatic influence, as Moscow grows increasingly isolated from the West after sending troops to Ukraine.

The meeting follows last week’s surprise announcement of a Chinese-brokered restoration of diplomatic ties between the Middle East’s main rivals, Saudi Arabia and Iran.

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Iran, Saudi Arabia to restore ties in China-brokered deal

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that the meeting between Putin and Assad, who arrived in Moscow on Tuesday night, was scheduled to begin around 1200 GMT.

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“At the forefront (in the negotiations) are bilateral relations between Syria and Russia,” Peskov said, adding that “Turkey-Syria relations will certainly be touched in one way or another”.

The start of the Syrian civil war in 2011 has strained relations between Damascus and Ankara, which has long supported rebel groups against Assad.

Turkiye broke diplomatic relations with Syria shortly after the war began.

But analysts have said Moscow wants to bridge the divide between the two countries which see a common “enemy” in Kurdish groups in northern Syria, described as “terrorists” by Ankara and supported by Washington.

The President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has recently indicated that he could meet with Assad to discuss a revival of relations, and their defense ministers met in Moscow at the end of December in the first such discussions since the Syrian war began.

Diplomats from Russia, Turkey, Syria and Iran are expected to meet in Moscow this week, according to Turkish media.

Assad’s government has been politically isolated since the start of the war, but has been receiving calls and aid from Arab leaders after an earthquake in February that killed tens of thousands in Turkey and Syria.

Damascus is a staunch ally of Moscow, which intervened in the Syrian conflict in 2015, launching airstrikes to support embattled government forces.

Assad last visited Moscow in September 2021 when he also met Putin.


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