Four-way joint center to be established in N Syria: Minister

Türkiye, Russia, Iran and Syria will establish a joint center in northern Syria to monitor the developments in the region, the Turkish defense minister has informed and stated that talks between Ankara and Damascus for the normalization of ties will continue, urging the latter to be more realistic in its demands.

Defense Minister Hulusi Akar provided information about the ongoing talks between Türkiye and Syria under the mediation of Russia and Iran in an interview with CNN Türk late on May 23.

"We have decided to set a joint center on the Syrian soils. We have also agreed to the continuation of talks [with Syria]. This center will monitor the incidents in the field," he said. The center will have officials from Türkiye, Syria, Russia and Iran who are carrying out the normalization process between Ankara and Damascus in a quadruplet format.

Under the mediation of Moscow and Tehran, Ankara and Damascus have launched talks for normalizing ties after more than a decade of incommunicado due to the civil war that started in the latter in 2011. The defense and foreign ministers of the four sides have already held meetings in the past six months with expectations that the process will continue following the Turkish elections.

"Our Syrian interlocutors should have a better understanding of the realities [in Northern Syria]. Otherwise, their unrealistic demands will prolong the process," Akar said.

The defense minister refers to Damascus' insistent calls for the withdrawal of the Turkish troops from the Syrian territories in order to make progress in the political talks. Akar said Türkiye is not in Syria for occupying the country but for securing its borders against the terrorist threats from the YPG and ISIL.

"We are not an...

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