Turkey and Syria in regional talks

Erdogan and al-Assad meet to discuss next round of Israel-Syria peace negotiations.

    Erdogan, left, and al-Assad with Syria's first lady, far right, and Erdogan's wife [AFP]

    Turkish officials fear domestic political issues in Israel, where Ehud Olmert, the prime minister, is due to step down shortly, will make it more difficult to move to direct talks.

    Public statements also suggest that Syria and Israel remain divided on core issues such as Israel's occupation of the Golan Heights, Damascus' ties to Iran, and the role of the resistance groups Hamas and Hezbollah.

    Erdogan met al-Assad at Bodrum airport before taking him to a luxury hotel for lunch on Tuesday.

    Assad and Erdogan have met frequently and are known to have a friendly relationship.

    Trade ties have also grown between the two neighbours.

    Next week, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president, will visit Istanbul for talks with Abdullah Gul, his Turkish counterpart, on Tehran's nuclear programme.

    Over the past few years, Gul and Erdogan have sought to boost Turkey's role as a regional problem solver in the Middle East.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    The Power Worshippers: A look inside the American religious right

    The Power Worshippers: A look inside the American religious right

    An insight into the history and present of Christian nationalism, the movement behind Donald Trump's religious support.

    Mapping US police killings of Black Americans

    Mapping US police killings of Black Americans

    Black Americans are two-and-a-half times as likely as white Americans to be killed by police officers.

    From the plague to MERS: A brief history of pandemics

    From the plague to MERS: A brief history of pandemics

    What you need to know about the other pandemics that shook the world.