11:23 GMT +313 December 2019
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    Turkish soldiers stand guar near the Turkey-Syrian border (File)

    Turkey’s Change of Heart Toward Syria Crucial Step to End War

    © AFP 2019 / OZAN KOSE
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    At the talks with Turkey over Syria, Russia is insisting on establishing strict border control at the Turkish-Syrian border in order to make the war on terrorism more effective.

    The changes Turkey would make to its stance on the issue will determine the relations between Moscow and Ankara, said Hasan Selim Ozertem from the International Strategic Research Organization (USAK).

    The specialist underscored that at the talks Russia has clear priorities and demands, including closing the Syrian-Turkish borders to militants and arms supplies and control over humanitarian supplies.

    Earlier, Syrian President Bashar Assad underscored that cooperation with Turkey on Syria would be possible if border control and security are restored.

    "Moscow and Damascus say that currently the northern Syrian border is used as a transition point for delivering militants and weapons to Syria. Turkey’s further steps on the issue will determine the dynamics of relations between Russia and Turkey," he said.

    Ozertem noted that agreements between Russia and the United States as well as between Turkey and Iran would be crucial for the Syrian settlement.

    He warned that if those agreements fail "some third parties" will try to delay the negotiating process. 

    The expert also said that if Turkey closes the border to stop the transit of militants and weapons to Syria this move could anger Saudi Arabia and Qatar. But actually they are unable to pressure Ankara on the issue.

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    Tags:
    terrorism, military conflict, talks, Turkey, Syria, Russia
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