Politics, Middle East

FMs of Russia, Turkey discuss Syria's Idlib

Mevlut Cavusoglu, Sergey Lavrov hold bilateral meeting on sidelines of Black Sea multilateral ministerial gathering

Ahmet Salih Alacacı   | 14.12.2018
FMs of Russia, Turkey discuss Syria's Idlib

By Ruslan Rehimov and Ali Cura

BAKU/MOSCOW

Turkey’s foreign minister met his Russian counterpart on Friday on the sidelines of a multilateral meeting in the Azerbaijani capital Baku.

After the closed-door meeting, Mevlut Cavusoglu told a news conference that the duo discussed various regional issues, including the status of Idlib in northwestern Syria and the forming of a commission to write a new constitution for the war-torn country.

He stressed the "close" dialogue between Presidents Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Vladimir Putin, and added that issues including bilateral trade and the gradual lifting of visa requirements, as well as the situation at the Kerch Strait were also discussed.

Underlining the two countries’ regular military, intelligence and diplomatic cooperation on Idlib, he stated that a new summit would not be necessary as there is currently no "extraordinary situation" regarding the opposition enclave.

Thanking Azerbaijan for its term chairmanship of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC), Cavusoglu stressed that Ankara would continue to cooperate in joint efforts to resolve issues in the functioning of the organization.

"BSEC needs to be reformed. Outstanding problems must be resolved," he said.

Cavusoglu had previously called attention to the payment benefits of BSEC employees, who had not been able to receive insurance payments from the organization.

Russia had also released a statement on the meeting, in which it said various issues including humanitarian relief and the rebuilding of infrastructure in Syria as well as the facilitation of the return of refugees were on the agenda.

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