Assad says would only meet Erdoğan if Syria’s interests called for it

Syrian President Bashar Assad said he would only be willing to meet former ally Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan if his country’s interests called for it.

The Syrian president Italy’s Rai News 24 that such a meeting would not bring him joy, Turkish news site Duvar reported.

“I always say that my job is not to be happy with what I’m doing... It’s not about my feelings, it’s about the interests of Syria, so wherever our interests go, I will go,” the Syrian president said.

The years-long personal friendship between Assad and Erdoğan came to an end following the outbreak of the Syrian civil war in Syria 2011.

The Turkish president initially counselled his Syrian counterpart to listen to the demands of demonstrators who had taken to the streets, gradually using a harsher rhetoric before labelling his former friend a "terrorist involved in state terrorism".

Turkish forces along with Turkey-backed Syrian rebels have launched three military operations into neighbouring Syria since the beginning of the civil war.