As Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu meets with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad today both parties are under pressure. The Turks will convey to Assad that they mean business when they ask him to stop his security forces attacking civilians. As for Assad he will have to convince the Turks that he is serious about reforms and dialogue.
But that will be difficult. In the past Syria has promised much and delivered precious little and losing it’s friendship with Turkey would leave it isolated, with only Iran as a friend.
However, rather than taking a reconciliatory attitude, Syria has assumed a defiant position. On Sunday Davutoglu was warned by advisors to Assad that he “would be given short shrift”. The warning came after Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said his minister would deliver a "decisive message," having seen past efforts to halt the violence, which activists say has now killed over 2,000 people, ignored.