MAJOR: Germany admits it must now negotiate with Assad – Russia signs onto new format

"To do this, we must talk to Assad whether we like it or not"

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Russian, Turkish, French and German leaders may hold a meeting on the Syrian issue, said Russian President aide, Yuri Ushakov.

In July, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the summit of leaders of the four countries to be held in Istanbul on 7 September.

Erdogan said leaders would discuss the Syrian conflict and other issues. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters the meeting was not on the agenda yet.

“The meeting is possible,” Ushakov told the Izvestiya newspaper.

The aide also said Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel discussed the negotiating format involving the four parties during the meeting on Saturday.

On Sunday, Peskov also told reporters that the new format for talks on Syria was on the agenda of talks between Putin and Merkel.

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This comes as Armin-Paulus Hampel, the chair of the Alternate Parliamentary Group for Germany (AfD), called on the German government to cooperate with Syrian President Bashar Assad on the return of Syrian refugees.

“In line with the objectives of our migration policy, we must create the situation that would make it possible for refugees to return to their homeland. To do this, we must talk to Assad whether we like it or not,” Hampel told the newspaper.

He stressed that it was necessary to obtain assurances that the Syrians who would return home would not be subjected to political persecution and repression.

Hampel also welcomed the initiative of Russian President Vladimir Putin on the return of refugees to Syria .

On Saturday, ahead of talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Putin called for assistance to Syria, especially for the regions, which can accept returning refugees, including those from Europe.

Although Europe is home to many Syrian refugees, the overwhelming majority, numbering in their millions, are in regional states like Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan, although the Gulf dictatorships house none.

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