Erdogan Invites Syria’s Assad to Ankara, Seeking Improved Relations

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced plans to extend an invitation to Syrian President Bashar Assad to visit Ankara, with the goal of repairing strained relations between the two nations. In a recent interview, Erdogan stated, “We will extend our invitation to Assad,” and added that the aim is to restore bilateral ties to their pre-war levels.

However, Erdogan did not provide a timeline for when the invitation would be extended, sparking confusion about why he did not simply extend it immediately. Instead, he hinted that Assad needs to take the first step towards improving relations.

Erdogan met with Russian President Vladimir Putin last week, where he offered to serve as a mediator in Russia-Ukraine peace talks. Putin dismissed the offer, but the Kremlin later softened its stance, suggesting that Russia would be open to having a “peace platform” hosted by Turkey.

The Turkish president’s decision to invite Assad comes as part of a broader effort to strengthen ties with its neighbors. Erdogan has been pursuing a diplomatic push, which he believes will enhance Turkey’s stature as a regional power.

Assad, who has been seeking to improve relations with Turkey, has made it clear that any rapprochement will depend on Turkey recognizing Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. This includes withdrawing Turkish forces from Syrian soil, which has been a major point of contention.

Syrian refugees in Turkey are worried about the potential consequences of an improved relationship between Erdogan and Assad, fearing that they may be forced to return to Syria. Human rights activists have reported a rise in violence against Syrian refugees in Turkey, but many agree that the country remains a safer option for them than Syria.

The government of Iraq has also expressed interest in hosting talks between Turkey and Syria, but no dates have been set or attendees announced.

John Hayward
John Hayward
I'm a conservative because there is so much about the American tradition that is worth conserving.

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