Turkey agrees to fully withdraw troops from Syria: media

Turkey has agreed to a complete pull-out of its troops from Syria after a recent meeting between defense ministers of Russia, Turkey and Syria in Moscow, according to a report published in Syrian media.

The Arabic-language al-Watan newspaper said in a Friday report that Russia had brokered the meeting in Moscow after intelligence authorities of Turkey and Syria held several rounds of discussions to sort out their differences.

It said that Turkish media outlets, especially those who are close to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, have also published articles and opinion pieces in recent months suggesting that the Turkish government would better put aside differences with Syria in line with political changes and developments that have happened in the region.

The report said that the meeting in Moscow on Wednesday was held after Damascus and Ankara reached consensus on some key issues, including the need to take into account conditions set by Syria in previous rounds of negotiations.

A source told al-Watan that Turkey had agreed in the tripartite meeting in Moscow to fully withdraw its forces from Syria and to respect sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Arab country.

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, his Syrian counterpart Ali Mahmoud Abbas and Russia’s defense chief Sergei Shoigu attended the meeting.

The report said that Syria and Turkey had also discussed the implementation of a 2020 agreement to reopen the M4 highway in northwest Syria along the border with Turkey.

The participants also emphasized that the PKK terrorist group has been a pawn in the hands of the United States and the Zionist regime and should be considered as a major threat to both Syria and Turkey.

They also agreed to set up some specialized committees follow up on agreements reached in the meeting and to hold other rounds of talks between Ankara and Damascus in future.

Late on Wednesday, the Syria’s Ministry of Defense described the meeting between defense ministers of Turkey and Syria as positive.

It said the meeting paved the way for pursuing efforts meant to fight terrorism and to review the situation in Syria, especially with regards to the refugees.

Defense ministers attending the meeting also emphasized the need for continued trilateral talks in order to create stability in Syria and in the wider region.

Russian Defense Ministry also issued a statement after the meeting and said that defense ministers of the three countries had discussed the crisis in Syria, the issue of refugees and fight against terrorism.

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