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Syria does not trust Turkish statements on restoring ties

Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad in Damascus, Syria on 11 February 2016 [JOSEPH EID/AFP/Getty Images]
Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad in Damascus, Syria on 11 February 2016 [JOSEPH EID/AFP/Getty Images]

An advisor to Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad has said that Syria does not have much confidence in Turkish statements regarding the restoration of relations between Damascus and Ankara.

"Damascus does not trust everything issued by Turkiye into the media because it has nothing to do with reality," Al-Sharq TV quoted Buthaina Shaaban as saying.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced last Wednesday his readiness to meet his Syrian counterpart. "There are no eternal [political] differences," he said.

Erdogan's remarks came days after Ankara launched a series of air strikes against Kurdish militant sites in northern Syria, as part of Operation Claw-Sword. The operation was launched in response to a bombing that killed six people and injured 81 others in Istanbul the week before.

Shaaban told Syria's Al-Ikhbariya TV that the Turkish president's statements are made for media consumption. "We do not yet trust everything that is issued by them [Turkish officials] in the media, and there is nothing official."

She pointed out that such statements have been heard for months. "But they are making statements for their own reasons, maybe electoral reasons, or using them as a card with other countries, or to put pressure on other parties. They have their own agenda, but it has nothing to do with the truth and reality."

Erdogan said last month that a meeting with Syria's Assad was "not on the table", but would be "possible when the time is right." He stressed at the time that his country's goal in Syria is to "cleanse it of terrorist elements."

READ: Turkish air strikes target Kurdish militants in Syria, Iraq after bomb attack

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