Putin and Erdogan agreed on Idlib, Assad might rebuild relations with Turkey

MOSCOW, (BM) – Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan agreed on Idlib. The Russian leader said this following a bilateral meeting, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.

Putin said that Moscow does not always agree with Turkish partners in assessing what is happening in Syria. “But every time at critical moments, relying on a high level of relations, we were able to find common ground, reach acceptable solutions,” the head of state summarized, adding that this also happened during the meeting.

Read more: BulgarianMilitary.com 24/7 – War in Syria: Who controls what and what happens

Following the meeting, the parties agreed on a joint document. According to the president, the agreements reached with Erdogan will become a good basis for resolving the situation in Idlib.

The meeting of the heads of state was held on March 5 in the Kremlin. The negotiations of the two leaders were held in a closed format. The parties discussed “all aspects of the situation in Syria.” Before the meeting, the Russian president noted that Moscow values ​​relations with Ankara.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov read out the text of an additional protocol agreed by the Presidents of Russia and Turkey Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan at negotiations in Moscow to resolve the situation in Syrian Idlib. The broadcast is conducted by “Russia 24” on YouTube.

Lavrov unveiled three points. According to the first, all hostilities on the now existing contact line in Idlib cease from 00:01 on March 6. The second – along the M4 highway connecting northern Syria with Latakia, a six-kilometer-wide security corridor will be created. According to the third, on March 15, joint Russian-Turkish patrols should begin along this highway.

The talks with Putin and Erdogan lasted about six hours, including more than two hours, the presidents had a one-on-one conversation.

The additional protocol agreed by the parties refers to the “Memorandum on the stabilization of the situation in the Idlib de-escalation zone”, which was signed in Sochi in September 2018 following the results of negotiations between Putin and Erdogan. The original document was never officially published, but extracts from it were cited by the Arab and Russian press. Then the parties once again agreed, in particular, to create a demilitarized zone in Idlib and joint patrols.

At the same time Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said he might rebuild relations with Turkey. He called the condition in an interview with the Russia-24 television channel, RIA Novosti reported.

According to the head of state, this can happen on condition that Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan stops supporting terrorists. “Our common goal with the Russian Federation is to eliminate Turkey away from the support of terrorists and return it to its natural position,” he emphasized.

Assad noted that in the past two years, several meetings have been held between representatives of the special services of the two countries. He also explained that there was no animosity between peoples, and all tension was connected with political interests.

The situation in Idlib, where the Syrian army launched a large-scale offensive at the beginning of this year, escalated in late February. Turkey, whose observation posts were behind the front line, demanded that Damascus withdraw troops and strengthened the support of militants loyal to it. And after the deaths of several dozen of its military as a result of an air strike by the Syrian Air Force, Ankara announced the conduct of the Spring Shield operation in the region.

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