The Defence Ministers of Turkiye and Russia have discussed a number of bilateral and regional security and defence issues, in light of the recent escalation in northern Syria, the Turkish Ministry of Defence said in a statement.
The statement said Defence Minister, Hulusi Akar, stressed during his meeting with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Shoigu, that Ankara will continue its response to provocations and attacks aimed at destabilising the region as well as actions targeting Turkish civilian areas and citizens.
Minister Akar has also stressed that Turkiye’s priority is to eliminate terrorism threat and corridor and permanently neutralise terrorist organisations in northern Syria, and pointed to the importance of complying with previous agreements on this issue, the statement added.
The Turkish-Russian meeting came hours after the guarantor countries of the Astana process on Syria, namely Turkiye, Russia and Iran ended the 19th Astana conference.
The countries stressed firmness in combating separatists and terrorists who threaten the sovereignty of Syria and the security of neighbouring countries, and condemned the presence and activities of these terrorist organisations as well as the countries that support them.
In the final statement, the countries condemned “the increasing presence and activities of terrorist organisations and their affiliated groups under different names in different regions in Syria, including attacks that targeted civilian facilities and camps housing displaced persons”.
Regarding Idlib, the countries agreed to increase efforts to achieve sustainable calm in the region and improve the humanitarian situation.
The final statement also stressed the need to fully implement all agreements related to Idlib, in order to ensure calm on the ground.