Erdoğan meets with Putin, Obama for Syria’s new roadmap

June 18, 2012, Monday/ 17:44:00/ TODAY'S ZAMAN

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will be meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Barack Obama on Monday and Tuesday on the sidelines of a G-20 summit in Los Cabos, Mexico, with the three leaders expected to discuss a new roadmap for the Syrian crisis.

Turkish diplomatic sources, who spoke to Today’s Zaman on the condition of anonymity, have said that the Syrian crisis will be the main topic discussed between the leaders, adding the recent situation in Iraq and counterterrorism would be the other issues on the agenda.

Due to the apparent collapse of UN Special Envoy Kofi Annan’s six-point peace plan, the international community has started to seek a new roadmap to effect a transition in Syria.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov recently called for a broader international meeting on the crisis in Syria, with the aim of supporting the faltering peace plan brokered by Annan.

Moscow looks forward to Turkey’s participation in the international summit.

When asked about Turkey’s stance on the summit to be organized by Russia, the same official stated that Turkey would participate in any meeting or summit where the future of Syria is discussed.

After the call from Russia, the Turkish diplomatic sources said they had already been informed that Russia would come up with such a proposal, and reiterated that Turkey is, in principle, ready to take part in any initiative which seeks a solution to the humanitarian crisis in Syria.

Turkey is actively engaged in peace initiatives to find a solution to the problem in Syria, but Erdoğan announced at the World Economic Forum in İstanbul, which was held early this month, that Turkey had no intention of interfering in the internal affairs of Syria. “We are trying to give the necessary warnings as we believe that a war in Syria would affect the whole region,” Erdoğan stressed.

While Russia aims to show its intention to sit at the table with leading Western and Arab powers on Syria, French President François Hollande said the G-20 summit would provide an opportunity to try to find a compromise with Russia for a political solution in Syria. Western powers are expected to try to change the stances of Russia and China on Syria during the G-20 summit, where the international developments, including the Syrian crisis, were expected to be discussed.

On the other hand, a top Chinese diplomat said last week that unrest in Syria should not be on the agenda at the upcoming G-20 Summit in Mexico because the meeting needs to stay focused on global economic issues, including the European debt crisis.

Erdoğan is expected in his meeting with the Russian president on Monday to invite Putin to Turkey for a meeting of the High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council, which was established between the two countries in 2010. Erdoğan is also scheduled to participate in a session on “Global Economy, Framework for a Sustainable and Balanced Development,” and he will also attend a working dinner of heads of state and government.

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