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Turkey grapples with policy change on Syria 

Ankara's complex ties with Moscow, the political cost of Syrian refugees and looming elections are all dictating dialogue with Damascus on Ankara, but it has yet to come up with a plan to proceed.
LOUAI BESHARA/AFP via Getty Images
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The prospect of fence-mending with Damascus continues to excite Turkey’s political scene after Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu revealed last week that he had spoken briefly with his Syrian counterpart during an international gathering in Belgrade in October and stressed the need to reconcile Syria’s opposition and government.  

Opposition groups held protests at more than 30 locations in northern Syria as Ankara sought to assuage the anger with a pledge of continued “solidarity with the Syrian people.” In further comments this week, Cavusoglu argued that his initial remarks had been distorted. “I used the word ‘compromise’ and not ‘making peace,’” he said, adding that a political settlement between Damascus and the opposition was the only way to end the conflict. 

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