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US News: The Turkish and Syrian Ministers of Defense have met in Russia, a first since 2011

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Le ministre russe de la Défense Sergueï Choïgu, ici en décembre 2021. © Kremlin / DPA The Russian Minister of Defense Sergei Choïgu, here in December 2021.

Turkish and Syrian ministers are maintained during a meeting in Moscow with their Russian counterpart, this Wednesday, December 28, 2022. This is the first official meeting at this level between Ankara and Damascus since the start of the war in Syria, eleven years ago .

The Turkish and Syrian Defense ministers met this Wednesday, December 28, 2022 at a meeting in Moscow with their Russian counterpart, a first official meeting at this level between Ankara and Damascus since the start of the war in Syria In 2011.

"Trilateral discussions took place in Moscow between the Ministers of Defense of the Russian Federation, the Syrian Arab Republic and the Republic of Turkey", relating in particular to "the ways of resolving the crisis Syrian and the question of refugees, ” said the Deputy Ministry in a statement.

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The discussions between Russian Sergei Choigou, Turkish Hulusi Akar and Syrian Ali Mahmoud Abbas focused on "the ways of resolving the Syrian crisis and the question of refugees" , as well as on "The joint efforts to fight the extremist groups ”, according to the same source.

"The parties highlighted the constructive nature of the dialogue in this format and the need to continue it in order to stabilize" Syria, added the Russian ministry. For its part, the Turkish Defense Ministry reported a meeting that took place in an "positive atmosphere" .

Turkey wants to appease its relations with the Arab countries

This is the first official meeting at the ministerial level between Turkey and Syria since the start of the Syrian crisis in 2011 which strongly stretched the relationships between Ankara and Damascus. The foreign ministers of the two countries had had a brief informal exchange on the sidelines of a regional summit in 2021 and Ankara had recognized contacts between intelligence services. According to the Turkish media, the powerful boss of the Turkish intelligence services (MIT), Hakan Fidan, was also present Wednesday in Moscow.

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The meeting between Hulusi Akar and Ali Mahmoud Abbas intervenes while Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been threatening a military offensive in northern Syria for Kurdish groups for several weeks. Last week, Hulusi Akar had also said that Ankara was in contact with Moscow to obtain the "opening of airspace" Syrian at Turkish war aircraft.

The war in Syria, which began with antigan -government demonstrations before turning into a complex conflict involving several international actors, has considerably stretched relations between Ankara and Damascus. Failedly opposed to the Bashar al-Assad regime since the start of the conflict in 2011, Ankara posed in unwavering support for Syrian rebel groups and welcomes nearly four million Syrian refugees on its soil.

But Turkey, of which troops are already present in Syrian territory, south of its border, has increased its position in recent months with regard to Damascus, when Ankara seeks to appease its relations with the Arab countries.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has described Bashar al-Assad several times "Assassin" in recent years, said last month an "possible" meeting with the latter. In mid-December, he also indicated that he could meet with Bashar al-Assad after meetings at the level of the Ministers of Defense and Foreign Affairs.

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Ministerial meeting of Turkey and Syria in Moscow: Talks for stabilizing the situation in Syria .
in Moscow are said to have arisen from the defense ministers of Turkey and Syria between the two countries. The negotiations are to be continued. © Photo: Turkish Defense Ministry The Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar during a conference on December 24, 2022. After years of the diplomatic ice age between Turkey and Syria, the Defense Minister of both countries met in Moscow.

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