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Turkey, Russia end Syria’s Idlib talks ‘without breakthrough’

February 19, 2020 at 9:54 am

President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R) and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin (L) attend the opening ceremony of TurkStream natural gas pipeline project in Istanbul, Turkey on 8 January 2020 [Mustafa Kamacı/Anadolu Agency]

Turkish and Russian delegations yesterday concluded a two-day meeting in the Russian capital, Moscow, on ways to ease tension in the Syrian governorate of Idlib without reaching a concrete “breakthrough”.

The two-day closed meeting at the Russian Foreign Ministry ended without an official statement being issued by either side.

The Turkish delegation headed by Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Onal and the Russian delegation headed by Presidential envoy for Syria Sergey Vershinin met in Moscow to discuss ways to reduce tension in Idlib governorate.

Anadolu reported diplomatic sources as saying that the Turkish delegation stressed the need to reduce tension on the ground and prevent the humanitarian situation from further deterioration.

READ: The Syrian regime and its Russian allies are like a pack of hyenas attacking Idlib

The two sides also discussed ways to fully implement the de-escalation agreements in Idlib, and measures to prevent violating the agreement.

In September 2018, Turkey and Russia reached an agreement to establish a de-escalation zone in Idlib to allow civilians to live in without the threat of warfare.

However, since then, more than 1,800 civilians have been killed in attacks by the Syrian army and Russian forces in the area.