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Turkey, Iran, Russia: Trilateral distrust in Syria

Iran and Turkey are concerned that Russia might exploit them at some point to achieve its own goals in Syria.
Foreign ministers, Sergei Lavrov (front) of Russia, Mevlut Cavusoglu (2nd R) of Turkey, Mohammad Javad Zarif (R) of Iran, and members of the delegations attend a meeting in Moscow, Russia, December 20, 2016. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov - LR1ECCK0W9ZRG

Russian President Vladimir Putin will be hosting his Turkish and Iranian counterparts, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Hassan Rouhani, at a trilateral summit Nov. 22 in Sochi, to discuss Syria and regional developments. Prior to the summit, the three countries held a preparatory meeting with experts in Tehran, followed by another meeting on the ministerial level in Turkey’s Antalya. 

At the conclusion of the Antalya meeting Nov. 19, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov seemed very optimistic, and he was quoted as saying that “the meeting was useful” and the parties to the talks "agreed on all key issues." Yet Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif acted in a discreet manner when the former talked about bridging the gaps between the three parties and the latter did not disclose much.

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