Remarks by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan about Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad will be a topic of discussion during the upcoming visit of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to Turkey, TASS reported Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov as saying on Wednesday.
“That will be a good topic to clarify the intentions,” he said answering a question from a TASS correspondent.
Maria Zakharova, spokeswoman for Russia’s Foreign Ministry, said on Wednesday that Erdogan’s words on removing Assad were uttered “off the record.”
“We studied the matter yesterday. The quote caused a great stir,” Zakharova said. “We tried to understand whether it was quoted as it had been said. It was not a direct quote, but a retelling of what had been said ‘off-the-record’. We rely on the public statements.”