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Russia: No meeting is scheduled with Erdogan on Idlib

February 27, 2020 at 4:32 pm

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) and Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) in Moscow, Russia on 27 August 2019 [Metin Aktas/Anadolu Agency]

Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov has denied reports that a meeting is scheduled between Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan on 5 March in Istanbul, TASS has reported. “Putin has other working plans for 5 March,” Peskov told journalists.

Turkey’s President Erdogan told local reporters on Wednesday that a meeting with Russian leader Vladimir Putin is indeed likely to take place next Thursday. He reiterated the view that his country’s armed forces are in Syrian Idlib legitimately according to the Adana Agreement. “This agreement opens the way for Turkey to enter those territories if any adverse events take place,” he explained.

The Adana Agreement is a deal between Turkey’s ex-President Suleyman Demirel and Syria’s late President Hafez Al-Assad to ensure the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK ) terrorist group wouldn’t receive support from the Syrian state, and that Damascus would help protect Turkey’s borders.

Due to another expected refugee influx from Syria, Turkey wants to agree with international leaders on the way to solve the Idlib crisis. Last week, Erdogan said that he will meet his Russian, German and French counterparts on 5 March to discuss the situation in Idlib, where a recent push by government forces has displaced nearly a million people.

Later, he said that there was not yet full agreement on holding a four-way Syrian summit on 5 March with Russia, France and Germany, but he may meet Russia’s Vladimir Putin on that date.

The Kremlin`s denial of this prompts suspicion about the relationship between Ankara and Moscow.

NOTE: At 09.23(GMT) on 28 February 2020 this piece was corrected to reference the Adana not Astana talks. 

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