Turkish Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu admitted meeting with Lavrov and Syrian minister in February

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu is planning to meet with his Russian and Syrian counterparts Sergei Lavrov and Faisal Mikdad in February. He announced this at a briefing in Rwanda, the newspaper Türkiye.

Çavuşoğlu noted that there is no final date for the ministerial meeting yet.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, Syrian Defense Minister Ali Mahmoud Abbas and Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar held trilateral talks in Moscow on December 28 last year. The Russian Defense Ministry reported that “the sides noted the constructive nature of the dialogue” and “the need to continue it in order to stabilize the situation in Syria. According to the Turkish Defense Ministry, the talks were attended by the heads of the countries’ intelligence services. In late December, the newspaper AlWatan reported that Turkey had agreed to withdraw troops from northern Syria after a meeting of defense ministers.

On December 15, 2022, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he offered his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin trilateral talks with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. On November 23, Alexander Lavrentyev, the Russian president’s special envoy to Syria, said such a meeting would be useful and symbolic.

On November 20, Erdogan ordered the start of Operation Sword Claw in northern Syria and Iraq against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, recognized as a terrorist by Turkish authorities. The goals of the operation are to prevent terrorist attacks against Turks and to ensure border security. The Turkish leader later admitted that the Sword Claw would not be limited to air strikes.