Turkish, Syrian defense ministers hold talks in Moscow
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar held a meeting with his Syrian counterpart Ali Mahmud Abbas in Moscow for the first time in 11 years, the Turkish Defense Ministry said.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, head of Turkey’s Intelligence Agency Hakan Fidan along with Syrian and Russian intelligence chiefs also attended the meeting, according to a statement by the ministry.
“At the meeting, the Syrian crisis, the refugee problem and joint efforts to combat all terrorist organizations in Syria were discussed,” the statement said, adding that the meeting took place “in a constructive atmosphere.”
“The parties agreed to continue the tripartite format meetings to ensure and maintain stability in Syria and the region as a whole,” the statement said.
On December 15, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said that he proposed to his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin forming a trilateral mechanism with Russia and Syria to accelerate diplomacy between Ankara and Damascus.
"First our intelligence agencies, then defence ministers, and then foreign ministers (of the three countries) could meet. After their meetings we as the leaders may come together. I offered it to Mr Putin and he has a positive view on it," Erdogan said.