Turkish, Russian, Syrian, Iranian foreign ministers plan to meet next week in Moscow

Türkiye to temporarily relocate embassy in Khartoum to Port Sudan, from which evacuations will take place, says Foreign Minister Cavusoglu

Merve Aydogan  | 03.05.2023 - Update : 03.05.2023
Turkish, Russian, Syrian, Iranian foreign ministers plan to meet next week in Moscow


Türkiye, Russia, Iran, and the Syrian regime plan to hold a quadrilateral meeting on May 10 in Moscow, the Turkish foreign minister announced on Wednesday.

In a televised interview, Mevlut Cavusoglu stressed the need for cooperation in fighting terrorist organizations, underlining that Ankara had "no eye on Syrian territories."

Asked about whether Türkiye will pledge to withdraw its troops from northern Syria at the talks, Cavusoglu said such a move could be implemented as a final step once Syria maintains complete stability.

Last December, the defense ministers and intelligence chiefs of Türkiye, Russia, and the Syrian regime met in Moscow and agreed to continue tripartite meetings to ensure stability in Syria and the wider region.

Iran was also included in the talks, with Türkiye saying earlier that Ankara would be "pleased if Iran is involved in this process."

On the ongoing violence in Sudan, Cavusoglu said Türkiye has so far evacuated at least 2,061 people, including 1,763 Turkish nationals, from the country amid weeks of fighting between the army and a paramilitary group.

A military plane would be used to pull Turkish health personnel out of Sudan, he said, adding that Türkiye's Embassy in the capital Khartoum would be temporarily relocated to Port Sudan, from which evacuations would take place.

"Together with the African Union and Ethiopia, we strive for a permanent cease-fire in Sudan. In addition to phone calls, there will also be higher-level contacts in the coming days, as well as face-to-face meetings," Cavusoglu said.

Hundreds have been killed, while thousands injured in the fighting between the Sudanese army and paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) since April 15, according to Sudan’s Health Ministry.

A disagreement had been fomenting in recent months between the army and the paramilitary force regarding the RSF’s integration into the armed forces, a key condition of Sudan's transition agreement with political groups.

Sudan has been without a functioning government since October 2021, when the military dismissed Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok’s transitional government and declared a state of emergency in a move decried by political forces as a “coup.”

Sudan’s transitional period, which started in August 2019 after the ouster of President Omar al-Bashir, is scheduled to end with elections in early 2024.

Asked about the inauguration of the "Nemesis Monument" in the Armenian capital Yerevan, Cavusoglu said Türkiye had closed its airspace to flights from Armenia to other countries.

"If they continue (to insist on the monument), additional steps will be taken," he added.

The monument honors perpetrators of assassinations against Ottoman and Azerbaijani officials in the early 1920s.

Türkiye and Azerbaijan have taken many steps toward normalization of ties with Armenia, Cavusoglu noted, saying erecting a monument to honor terrorists that have "martyred our (Turkish) diplomats" is "unacceptable."

Cavusoglu further noted that Armenia's statements regarding the incident saying "the municipality built the monument, we have no authority" are not "sincere and correct."

"Therefore, it also shows that they do not have good intentions. Of course, I will not stand idle," he added.

Asked about terrorist PKK affiliates attacking Turkish citizens living in France that went to the polls in the port city of Marseille on Monday, Cavusoglu said: "We have warned France (following the incident). We are working with a private security company and have increased the number of security personnel."

He stressed that there are PKK supporters in France, and that terror group supporters created tensions by using May 1 (International Workers' Day) as an excuse.

In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Türkiye, the PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Türkiye, the US, and EU — has been responsible for the deaths of more than 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants.

Turkish expatriates in 73 countries are casting their votes for the presidential and parliamentary elections that will be held across Türkiye on May 14.

Some 3.41 million people are expected to cast their votes abroad, including nearly 278,000 first-time voters.

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