The US State Department Ned Price made a statement regarding the critical meeting in Moscow.

Ned Price, referring to the trilateral contact in Moscow, said that “the Assad administration continues to persecute the people”

US State Department spokesman Ned Price said the time to normalize relations with the Bashar al-Assad administration in Syria “is not yet” and that human rights abuses in Damascus should be taken into account.

Regarding the tripartite meeting of the defense ministers of Turkey, Syria and Russia, which took place in Moscow last week, Price said: “We understand that there is a tripartite contact. “I can only talk about our policy: it hasn’t changed either,” he said.

Commenting on the issue at a daily press conference, Price said: “We do not support countries that raise the level of relations with the brutal dictator Assad, and offer support for his rehabilitation.”

Stating that the Assad administration “continues to persecute people in Syria as it has for 12 years and is trying to prevent humanitarian aid from coming in,” Price said the United States will continue to work with the United Nations for a permanent political solution in Syria.

To the question “Have you spoken with Turkey on this issue?” Price responded, “We have told our allies and partners that now is not the time to normalize relations and level up.” Price noted that all countries should consider human rights violations during the civil war under the Assad administration in their decisions regarding Damascus.

After a question from a journalist about the tripartite meeting, he said: “This will negatively affect many people in the opposition and your friends in the SDF; and the fight against terrorism,” Price did not address these points in his response.

On December 28, Minister of National Defense Hulusi Akar met in Moscow with the head of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Hakan Fidan, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, Syrian Defense Minister Ali Mahmoud Abbas and the heads of intelligence of the two countries. The ministry said in a statement that the meeting discussed the Syrian crisis, the plight of refugees and joint efforts to combat all terrorist organizations in Syria.

In making statements regarding the meeting, Akar used the following statements:

“One of the most important issues that we raised at the meeting was the fight against terrorism. We stressed that we respect the territorial integrity and sovereignty rights of all our neighbors, especially Syria and Iraq, that our only goal is to fight terrorism and that we have no other goal. We have stated that we are seeking to neutralize members of terrorist organizations such as the PKK/YPG and Daesh, which also pose a threat to Syria. We said that we are making efforts to ensure the security of our country, people and borders. We also stated that we are making efforts to prevent further migration from Syria to Turkey as part of these studies. They stressed that the Syrian problem must be addressed in an inclusive and comprehensive manner within the framework of UN Security Council Resolution 2254. In this sense, we believe that the work to be carried out in the coming days can make a serious contribution to peace and stability in the region and Syria.”

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu also said that the second trilateral meeting of foreign ministers would take place in the second half of January.

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