DAMASCUS, SYRIA (4:20 PM) – Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan intends to keep open the possibility of further contact with Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, particularly on the subject of the Syrian Kurds, according to Turkish newspaper Hurriyet.
“Whatever happens tomorrow, it all depends on the circumstances. It is inexpedient to say ‘never’. The doors of politics are always open until the last moment,” Erdogan replied in the interview, when asked if he is considering continuing contact with Damascus on how to deal with the Kurdish YPG.
Media speculations in the past weeks state that Ankara is working towards a thaw in relations with Syria, despite the fact that Assad has repeatedly stated that he does not consider Turkey to be a partner, accusing the country of undermining political and social progress in Syria.
Erdogan’s statement come right after a joint Russian-Iranian-Turkish presidential meeting in Sochi, where he spoke with his Russian and Iranian counterparts Vladimir Putin and Hassan Rouhani. There, the three nations reiterated their resolve in cooperating in the de-escalation efforts in Syria, as well as the final defeat of terrorist organisations in Syria.
Erdogan also commented on the upcoming Syrian National Dialogue Congress in December, which will also be held in Sochi and will likely feature representatives from the Syrian Arab Republic government and several opposition groups.
“We, the three countries, will decide who will be invited to the congress. Commissions created by our foreign ministries will hold all the necessary consultations in advance. We expect that all the groups in Syria will be invited,” Erdogan stated.
The National Dialogue Congress is meant to push forward a political solution to the conflict in Syria, complete with possible negotiations about a new Syrian constitution.