Turkey's Erdogan doesn't rule out dialogue with Syria's Assad

AFP

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Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) and Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Presidential Press Service via AP, Pool & SANA via AP, FileTurkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) and Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Ankara cut diplomatic ties with Damascus during Syria's 11-year civil war

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Wednesday that a meeting with his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad is a possibility, after cutting diplomatic ties with Damascus throughout the 11-year conflict there.

Ankara has backed the rebels fighting to topple Assad, with Erdogan calling him a "murderer."

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Asked by a reporter in the parliament whether he would meet with the Syrian leader, Erdogan said: "It's possible. There's no room for resentment in politics. Ultimately, steps are taken under the most favorable conditions."

Despite the lack of contact between Erdogan and Assad, the two countries' spy chiefs have maintained dialogue. 

Erdogan surprised many when he briefly met on Sunday with his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in Qatar for the first time. A photo distributed by the Turkish presidency showed the two leaders shaking hands.

The Turkish leader and Sisi have been sparring since the Egyptian military's 2013 ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, personally backed by Erdogan. Asked whether or not he would have a second meeting with Sisi, Erdogan didn't give a date.

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