Turkey-Syria talks underway at ‘lower levels’: Erdogan

Turkey-Syria talks underway at ‘lower levels’: Erdogan

Ankara: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that talks were underway at lower levels with Syria, ruling out any contact at higher levels with Damascus.

“Talks at lower levels must continue with Syria even if not between leaders,” Erdogan said during a live-broadcast interview with Turkish broadcaster TRT, Xinhua news agency reported on Sunday.

Turkey broke all contacts with the Syrian government at the start of the civil war in 2011 and sought to oust President Bashar al-Assad by offering support to some rebel groups.

During their last meeting in Moscow on January 23, Russian President Vladimir Putin encouraged Erdogan to establish some form of contact with the Syrian leadership, invoking a Turkish-Syrian security pact signed in 1998 that could be reactivated to address the security concerns of the two neighbours.