Assad says meetings with Turkey should aim to “end occupation”

DAMASCUS, Syria (North Press) – The Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said on Thursday that meetings with Turkey should aim at ending the latter’s “occupation and support for terrorism.”

This came during a meeting between al-Assad and Russia’s Presidential Envoy for Syria Alexander Lavrentiev in Damascus. They discussed the Russian-Syrian strategic ties and ways to develop them, the Syrian presidency said.

Ankara launched three major incursions into Syria and control about nine percent of the country’s territory. Turkey has also supported the Syrian opposition and its military wing which tried to overthrow al-Assad.

Lavrentiev told Assad that Russia seeks to bring the foreign ministers of Turkey and Syria together.

Al-Assad said that in order for the meetings to be “fruitful” and reach “tangible goals and results”, the tripartite meetings should be “based on prior coordination and planning between Syria and Russia.”

The Syrian president added that achieving such results is contingent on “ending occupation and support for terrorism.”