Mevlut Cavusoglu rejects rumors of possible meeting between President Erdogan, Bashar al-Assad at SCO summit
There will be no meeting between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Syria’s Bashar al-Assad at an upcoming summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in September, Türkiye’s foreign minister said on Tuesday.
Speaking to the Haber Global news broadcaster in the capital Ankara, Mevlut Cavusoglu ruled out a meeting between Erdogan and Assad at the summit slated for Sept. 15-16 in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, adding that Assad was “not invited” to the event.
Cavusoglu also underlined that steps must be taken for lasting peace in Syria, adding that the regime should not see the opposition as terrorists.
“From the very beginning, Türkiye said that the most important process is the political one,” he said.
Türkiye follows a “results-oriented” policy in Syria, Cavusoglu noted, stressing the importance of the country’s territorial integrity and the need to clear terrorist organizations from it.
“There are no preconditions for dialogue, but what is the purpose of the talks? The country needs to be cleared of terrorists, our border security is important, and Syria’s territorial integrity and political integrity are important. It is important that people can return to the country safely. It’s not necessarily a requirement, but what are its purpose and goal? Our Syria policy is always solution-oriented,” he added.
Türkiye to reappoint an ambassador to Israel ‘in coming days’
Ankara will reappoint an ambassador to Israel “in coming days,” Cavusoglu announced.
Türkiye and Israel take steps to normalize ties, including last week’s decision to restore full diplomatic relations and reappoint ambassadors and consuls general after a four-year hiatus.
Cavusoglu said normalizing ties with Israel does not mean Türkiye will make concessions on Palestine and Al-Aqsa Mosque.
He added that Palestinian authorities, including Hamas, want the normalization of ties between Türkiye and Israel, adding: “Through this dialogue, we will better defend the Palestinian cause.”
The minister also said normalization of relations is beneficial for the region.
Later on Tuesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will meet his Palestinian counterpart Mahmoud Abbas at the presidential complex in Ankara.
Ukrainian grain exports
Cavusoglu said the landmark grain export deal signed in Istanbul last month works smoothly.
Türkiye, the UN, Russia, and Ukraine signed a deal last month to resume grain exports from the Ukrainian Black Sea ports of Yuzhny, Chornomorsk, and Odesa, which were halted due to the Russia-Ukraine war, now in its sixth month.
A Joint Coordination Center with officials from the three countries and the UN has been set up in Istanbul to oversee the shipments.
Since the first ship left Ukraine under the deal on Aug. 1, a total of 33 ships with over 723,000 tons of grain have been delivered to world markets, Cavusoglu said.
Normalization with Armenia
For the normalization process with Armenia, Cavusoglu said the country’s special representatives met four times.
“It is not a realistic approach to see this process we are carrying out as independent from the process between Azerbaijan and Armenia.
Permanent peace in the South Caucasus can only be achieved through a comprehensive and permanent peace agreement between Armenia and Azerbaijan,” Cavusoglu said.
The minister said Türkiye’s “sincerity” in normalizing ties with Armenia was “clear for all to see.”