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Turkey, Syria defense chiefs meet in Russia, discuss ‘normalization'

The Moscow meeting was described as “positive” by both sides since Syrian-Turkish rapprochement took off last year.
Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar is seen standing at the start of the North Atlantic Council meeting of defence ministers during the second and final day of the NATO defence ministers' meeting at the NATO headquarters on October 13, 2022 in Brussels, Belgium. The North Atlantic Council (NAC) Defence Ministers are convening at the NATO headquarters in Brussels for a two-day summit as the war in Ukraine continues into its seventh month. (Photo by Omar Havana - Pool / Getty Images)

ANKARA — The Turkish and Syrian defense and intelligence chiefs discussed the concrete steps that could be taken to normalize Ankara-Damascus ties on Tuesday, Turkey’s Defense Ministry said.

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar met his Syrian counterpart, Ali Mahmoud Abbas, along with both countries’ intelligence chiefs in Moscow. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Iranian Defense Minister Mohammed Reza Ashtiani, as well as both countries' intelligence chiefs, also joined the talks.

The Turkish Defense Ministry’s statement said the meeting took place in a constructive atmosphere, using the word “normalization” vis-a-vis its ties with Damascus publicly for the first time since their ties were severed.

In addition, the sides discussed strengthening the security situation in Syria, combating terrorist organizations and all extremist groups, and intensifying efforts to return Syrian refugees to their home country, according to the statement. 

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