Whatever Ankara’s attitude toward the Syrian government of President Bashar Al-Assad is, it is up to the the Syrian people to decide on its future fate, an official of the Turkish Foreign Ministry said on Friday.
On Wednesday, a trilateral meeting of Iranian, Russian and Turkish presidents on Syrian settlement was held in Ankara.
“Iran understands Turkey’s sensitivity to the national security issues, [at the same time] it supports Syria’s territorial integrity. But we have disagreements with Tehran: it wants the work to be coordinated with the Syrian regime and in doing so it defends it. We currently have no direct contacts with [the Syrian] regime, but it is up to the Syrian people to decide [on its future],” the official told reporters, commenting on the outcome of the trilateral summit of Syria’s ceasefire guarantor states.
The diplomat indicated that Turkey supported the Syrian opposition with a view to achieve stability in the country.
“The countries supporting [Syrian President Bashar] Al-Assad have to navigate between negotiating with him and exerting pressure on him,” the official added.
The Turkish armed forces are currently engaged in a military operation in northern Syria that aims to liberate the area from Kurdish armed groups. Damascus has firmly condemned the operation as an assault on Syria’s sovereignty.