Turkey keeping contact with Syria: Erdogan
Turkey who has been supporting Syrian rebels since the beginning of the crisis in war-torn country, said it maintained contact with the Damascus.
Iran Press/Asia: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday that his government maintained "low-level" contact with the Syrian government but he ruled out any direct talks with Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad.
"Foreign policy is being conducted with Syria at low-level," Erdogan told the state-run TRT television in an interview.
"Even if it's your enemy, you will not entirely break ties in case you might need them," he said.
Erdogan's comments are the first time he has confirmed direct low-level talks with Damascus.
Asked about the US withdrawal plan, Erdogan said he hoped Washington would pull out its troops out of Syria soon.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said in December Ankara was only in contact with Damascus through third parties, namely Russia and Iran.
Erdogan, who visited Russia for talks over the 'security zone' last month, also said he would meet President Vladimir Putin in Sochi on February 14.
Turkey is pushing for a 32 kilometre (20 mile) 'security zone' in Syria after receiving the US backing.
Turkey is trying to expand its control in northern Syria, hoping to benefit as the United States pulls its forces out of Kurdish-held territory.
Moscow, however, wants to see Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government return to the roughly a third of the country that is being secured and administered by a Kurdish-Arabic alliance. 101/202/213