All the delegations that will take part in the quadripartite meeting of the deputy foreign ministers of Russia, Turkey, Iran and Syria have arrived in Moscow, TASS reported on April 2.
An unnamed source with knowledge on the matter, told the Russian news agency that preparatory consultations will be held on April 3.
The Syrian Arab News Agency confirmed that the Syrian delegation, headed by deputy foreign minister Ayman Sousan, departed Damascus to Moscow on April 2 morning to take part in the meeting. Answering a question by the state-run agency, Sousan said that the Syrian delegation will hold bilateral consultations with the Russian and Iranian sides on April 3, and on the next day, April 4, it will participate in the quadripartite meeting.
“The delegation will focus specifically on ending the Turkish military presence on Syrian territory, combating terrorism, and non-interference in Syrian internal affairs,” the senior Syrian diplomat added.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said last week that the situation in Syria and the normalization process between Ankara and Damascus are to be the key focus of the talks.
The deputy foreign ministers of Russia, Turkey, Iran and Syria were supposed to meet in Moscow early on in March. However, the meeting was canceled due to “technical reasons,” which were likely related to certain demands made by Damascus.
The Turkish-Syrian normalization process achieved a major breakthrough last December when the defense ministers and intelligence chiefs of Turkey and Syria met in Moscow.
During a recent visit to Russia, President Bashar al-Assad demanded an end to Turkey’s “illegal occupation” of Syrian territory.
It’s unclear yet if Turkey is willing to meet the demand made by al-Assad. The success of the upcoming quadripartite meeting could pave the way for a direct meeting between the foreign ministers of Ankara and Damascus. However, this will not likely happen before the upcoming general elections in Turkey next May.