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Erdogan Reiterates His Invitation to Assad To Restore Ties, Despite Anti-Syrian Riots

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reiterated to journalists his willingness to invite Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad, to Türkiye for discussions on restoring relations, on his way back from Berlin on July 7.

“We are now at a point that the moment Bashar Assad takes a step to restore relations with Türkiye, we will exhibit the same approach,” Erdoğan was quoted saying on July 7.

“We were not adversaries in the past. Our families were seeing each other,” Erdoğan said. He was referring to their meeting in southwestern Türkiye, where Assad took his family for a vacation, after he had taken over the leadership of the regime in 2000. Erdoğan and his family again welcomed the Assads during their vacation in 2008. The 2011 unrest, which evolved into a civil war, changed Türkiye’s stance on the Damascus regime, and the two leaders severed ties, except for attending a group photo session with leaders of Arab Muslim countries, during a summit in Riyadh in 2023.

“We will extend our invitation and by God’s will, we want to return Turkish-Syrian relations to the same level as in the past through this invitation. It can be any time,” he said.

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