By Ayhan Simsek
Germany's foreign minister on Friday praised Turkey’s efforts for preventing a military escalation and a big humanitarian crisis in Syria’s Idlib province.
“Turkey has played an extremely positive role with regards to developments in Syria and Idlib, and finally it has reached an agreement with Russia to establish a demilitarized zone,” Heiko Maas told a news conference in Berlin.
He stressed that these efforts were significantly important for preventing a humanitarian catastrophe in Idlib, Syria’s last opposition stronghold.
In relevant news, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman said Friday that recent developments in Syria would be one of the main topics on agenda during Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s visit to Berlin next week.
Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed on Monday, following their meeting in Sochi, to establish a disarmament zone in Syria’s Idlib province.
Located near the Turkish border, Idlib is home to more than 3 million Syrians, many of whom fled to other cities following attacks by Assad regime forces.
Last month, the regime announced plans to launch a major military offensive in Idlib, which is controlled by various armed opposition groups.
But, the UN warned that such an offensive would lead to the "worst humanitarian catastrophe in the 21st century".