Turkish and Russian diplomats will once again come together to discuss the situation in Syria amid international efforts to convene world and regional powers in Geneva next month in a bid to end violence and start a political transition.
Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioğlu will hold talks with Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov today and tomorrow, the ministry said in a written statement. Bogdanov is also Russian President Vladimir Putin’s special envoy for the Middle East.
The ministry said the situation in Syria would top the agenda of two senior diplomats who started a bilateral consultancy mechanism in November 2012 and held already two meetings in this frame.
Opposition to no-fly zone
Turkey and Russia disagree over how the ongoing turmoil in Syria would be ended. Turkey expressed its pessimism over the Washington-Moscow proposal to hold an international conference in Geneva, saying it would only let Bashar al-Assad buy some more time. The Sinirlioğlu-Bogdanov meeting coincides with Washington’s signaling a change in its arms supply policy toward Syrian opposition groups and which would also bring about a limited no-fly zone implementation over Syrian airspace. Russia said any attempt to impose a no-fly zone would be illegal. “You don’t have to be a great expert to understand that this will violate international law,” Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said June 15.