Historic Assad-Erdogan meeting by September’s end in Moscow
Lebanese daily Assafir has recently published an article by journalist Mohammad Ballout. The article states that preparations and arrangements for an Assad-Erdogan meeting had begun since Erdogan’s visit to St. Petersburg on August 9th.
Interestingly, Erdogan’s visit also coincided with the visit of a senior Syrian delegation that included important security officials, including the head of the Syrian National Bureau General Ali Mamlouk, one of Assad’s most trusted advisors.
The article also states that the delegation’s visit taking place during Erdogan’s was no mere coincidence, and points to a very sharp turn that is about to take place in the Syrian War, in what is now its 5-year run.
The date of the final meeting between the two will apparently be set by General Mamlouk in his upcoming visit to Russia this Tuesday, whereat he is expected to meet with Russian and Turkish officials, whereas the actual agenda of the meet is to be finalized by Hakan Fidan, head of Turkish Intelligence.
The settlement proposed by Russia would include a tripartite national unity government that would include loyalists, independents, and representatives from the moderate Syrian opposition. They also offered the Saudis with an acceptable “out” by ruling out any major role to be played by Iran in the process.
The article also states that the Syrian delegation refused Turkey’s proposition of a sectarian division of government (akin to Lebanon), and instead proposed that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad would still preside over the most important ministries: Interior, Justice, Finance, Foreign Affairs, and Defense, whereas executive ministries would be shared with the opposition and the independents. Three vice presidents will also be selected from the three factions.
It has so also been agreed that after an 18-month period, some key constitutional amendments must take place (provided they do not alter any presidential powers), to be later followed by legislative and presidential elections.
Finally, The Syrian delegation has also made commitments to issue a general amnesty for all military defectors, provided they do not partake in any activities against the Syrian army.
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