Turkey is prepared to invite Syrian President Bashar Al Assad for discussions at any moment to potentially mend ties between the two neighboring countries, according to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Erdogan stated, "We will issue our invitation (to Assad); with this invitation, we aim to return Turkey-Syria relations to their former state. Our invitation could be issued at any time," as per a summary from the presidency of an interview with Turkish media.

Turkey cut off relations with Syria in 2011 following the start of the Syrian civil war, during which it backed rebels seeking to overthrow Assad. Turkey has conducted multiple cross-border military operations against groups it deems a threat to its national security and has established a "safe zone" in northern Syria where Turkish forces are currently deployed.

During a press briefing on his return flight from Berlin, Erdogan mentioned that Ankara would respond positively to any constructive moves from Damascus and that Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Iraqi Prime Minister could play a role in facilitating communication. "We have reached a stage where if Bashar Assad takes a step towards improving relations with Turkey, we will reciprocate in kind," Erdogan said. "Putin and the Iraqi prime minister favor holding talks in Turkey. We are discussing mediation everywhere, so why not with our neighbor?" he was quoted as saying by the Turkish presidency.

Erdogan in June did not dismiss the possibility of a meeting with Assad to revitalize relations. However, Syrian officials have consistently asserted that any improvement in relations hinges on Turkey withdrawing its thousands of troops from the rebel-held northwest.