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Deputy FMs of Russia, Iran, Turkey, and Syria will meet soon: Moscow

Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov says a quadrilateral meeting of the deputy foreign minister of Russia, Iran, Turkey and Syria will be held “soon” as efforts step up to normalize ties between Ankara and Damascus.

“We are getting ready [for a meeting]. I think that [it will be held] soon. We are hoping,” he told Russia’s TASS news agency on Monday.

“It’s a holiday season now, Ramadan. There are many other circumstances. Yet work continues,” he added, referring to the Muslim fasting month.

Turkey cut off its relations with Syria in March 2012, a year after the Arab country found itself in the grip of rampant and deadly violence waged by foreign-backed militants, including those allegedly supported by Ankara.

Now, after 11 years, the two neighboring countries are taking steps toward reconciliation.

Bogdanov said, “We are hoping that our mediating mission directed at a very important strategic goal – the normalization of Syrian-Turkish relations – ­will result in our shared success.”

Last December, defense ministers and intelligence chiefs of Russia, Turkey and Syria met in Moscow in what was the highest-level meeting between Ankara and Damascus since the outbreak of the Syria conflict.

Earlier this month, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said he would only meet his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan if Turkey withdraws troops from northern Syria.

“(Any meeting) is linked to our reaching the point when Turkey is ready – fully and without any uncertainty – for a complete withdrawal from Syrian territory,” he told Russia’s state-run RIA-Novosti news agency.

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