Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: Turkey says it has no preconditions for dialogue with Syria

Turkey does not have preconditions for dialogue with the Syrian government and talks should be goal-oriented, Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Tuesday in a further softening of Ankara’s stance towards Damascus. “There cannot be a condition for dialogue but what are the aim of these contacts? The country needs to cleared of terrorists… People need to be able to return,” Cavusoglu said. Asked last week about potential talks with Damascus, Erdogan was quoted as saying diplomacy between states can never be fully severed. (https://news.yahoo.com/turkey-does-not-preconditions-dialogue-073149361.html) Turkey has backed rebels fighting to topple Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad, and cut diplomatic relations with Damascus early in the 11-year conflict. Erdogan has warned that Turkey could launch another military incursion into northern Syria targeting Syria Kurdish fighters, to extend a ‘safe zone’ where Ankara says some of the 3.6 million Syrian refugees which it currently hosts could return.

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