Turkish diplomat Sinirlioğlu in Russia to hold new round of talks on Syria
Undersecretary of the Foreign Ministry, Feridun Sinirlioğlu, is in Moscow to talk high-level officials upon the invitation by Russian Deputy Prime Minister Mikhail Bogdanov. Sinirlioğlu will then proceed to Washington.
A senior Turkish diplomat arrived at the Russia capital on Jan. 8 for a series of talks, including on the Syrian crisis.
Undersecretary of the Foreign Ministry, Feridun Sinirlioğlu, was scheduled to talk with high-level Russian officials yesterday and today upon an invitation by Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement. The statement added that Sinirlioğlu would meet the Russian officials regarding the latest developments in the region, in particular in Syria.
A senior diplomat told Anatolia news agency last week that Turkey would propose “concrete” proposals to Russia, claiming that Moscow had realized that a transition process involving President Bashar al-Assad was no longer possible. The diplomat, however, added that Russia had told Turkey they would not “persuade” al-Assad to leave his post.
At a Dec. 3, 2012, meeting in Istanbul, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan downplayed their differences over the Syrian civil war. Sinirlioğlu will also conduct two days of talks in Washington starting Jan. 14 following current consultations at the Kremlin, according to diplomatic sources. Sinirlioğlu is expected to arrive in Washington on Jan. 13 and start his meetings with his counterpart, Deputy Secretary William Burns, on Jan. 14, concluding them Jan. 16.
The talks will focus on a broad range of issues including turmoil in Syria, tension in Iraq, Iran’s nuclear program and the implementation of sanctions and other bilateral and international issues.
Cooperation in the field of combating terrorism will also be on the agenda.
One of the most immediate issues to be discussed between Turkish and U.S. officials will be Turkish energy companies’ activities in northern Iraq, as Washington fears the contacts could push Baghdad closer toward Tehran and threaten Iraq’s unity.