Turkey, Russia, Iran to hold summit on Syria in April – Spokesman

Syrian forces used to illustrate the story [Photo credit: Al-Masdar News]

Turkey, Russia and Iran will hold a summit in April to discuss Syria and potential steps in the region, the spokesman for the Turkish foreign ministry said on Tuesday.

Foreign Ministry spokesman, Hami Aksoy, said this at a news conference in Ankara.

Mr. Aksoy said that Ankara would tell U.S. authorities during meetings on March 8-9 that it expected Washington to take concrete steps on retrieving weapons provided to the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia.

Mr. Aksoy said Turkish Foreign Minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, will visit Russia between March 12 and 14, and later meet with his U.S. counterpart Rex Tillerson in Washington on March 19.

Mr. Aksoy said Cavusoglu would also discuss during a visit to Germany the extradition of former Syrian Kurdish leader Saleh Muslim, who was released by a Czech court on February 27, 2018 in spite a Turkish extradition request.

In another development, the foreign ministers of Turkey, Iran and Russia will meet in the Kazakh capital Astana on March 16 to assess the situation in Syria, a spokesman for the Turkish Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.

The three countries are the guarantors of the Astana process, which aims to reduce violence in Syria by imposing ceasefires over so-called de-escalation zones.

Violence has continued to plague various parts of Syria, including an ongoing offensive against the rebel-held Eastern Ghouta enclave outside Damascus by Russia and the Syrian government and the Turkish offensive against the Kurdish-held Afrin district in the north.

Aksoy was quoted by the state-run Anadolu news agency as saying a Turkish delegation would discuss Syria with the U.S. at a commission meeting in Washington on Thursday and Friday.

The commission, set to look at the flashpoint city of Manbij, was created to reduce tensions between Turkey and the U.S., which mounted over Washington’s alliance with Kurdish fighters in the war against Islamic State.

Mr. Aksoy said that prior to the Astana meeting, Mr. Cavusoglu would travel to Russia on March 12 for a two-day visit.

The spokesman said Turkey will build camps inside Idlib, the last rebel-held province, and in areas under Turkish control in the north, for 170,000 displaced people.

(Reuters/NAN)

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