Turkey, Politics, Middle East

Turkish, Russian defense ministers discuss Idlib, Syria

Hulusi Akar and Sergey Shoygu hold phone conversation to discuss situation in northwestern Syrian province of Idlib

Havva Kara Aydin and Elena Teslova   | 22.02.2020
Turkish, Russian defense ministers discuss Idlib, Syria

ANKARA

Turkish and Russian defense ministers held a phone conversation on Saturday to discuss the situation in northwestern Syrian province of Idlib.

Hulusi Akar and Sergey Shoygu exchanged views to find a solution to the conflict in Idlib, according to the Turkish Defense Ministry.

In a separate statement, the Russian Defense Ministry said Shoygu and Akar discussed the ways to stabilize the situation in Idlib.

"On Feb. 22, the Defense Minister of the Russian Federation Sergey Shoygu held a telephone conversation with the Defense Minister of Turkey Hulusi Akar, during which they exchanged views on the situation in the Syrian Arab Republic. At the phone conversation, the issues of stabilization in the Idlib de-escalation zone were discussed," the statement said.

Idlib, near Turkey's southern border, falls within a de-escalation zone laid out in a deal between Turkey and Russia in late 2018.

Some 1 million Idlib refugees have moved towards the Turkish border in recent months, fleeing attacks by the Assad regime and its allies which caused a desperate humanitarian situation.

Turkey has called for an immediate halt to the attacks on Idlib, and for the cease-fire to be followed, warning that if the attacks do not stop, Turkey will take action.

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