Turkey, Politics, World

Turkish, Russian defense ministers meet in Sochi

Hulusi Akar and Sergey Shoygu discuss situation in Syria's Idlib at meeting in Russian coastal city

Elena Teslova,Seyit Ahmet Aytaç   | 20.11.2018
Turkish, Russian defense ministers meet in Sochi

By Elena Teslova

MOSCOW

Defense ministers of Turkey and Russia on Tuesday discussed further interactions in Syria's Idlib at a meeting in Russia's coastal city of Sochi.

Hulusi Akar and Sergey Shoygu examined the actions needed to be performed to "close all the remaining issues in Idlib," said a Russian Defense Ministry statement.

"The current situation in Syria requires our immediate solution and discussion of the pending issues," it said.

Turkey's head of National Intelligence Service (MIT) Hakan Fidan was also present at the meeting, according to Turkish defense sources.

On Sept. 17, Turkish President Recep Tayip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin agreed to establish a demilitarized zone in Idlib.

Ankara and Moscow also signed a memorandum of understanding calling for the “stabilization” of Idlib's de-escalation zone, in which acts of aggression are expressly prohibited.

Under the deal, opposition groups in Idlib will remain in areas in which they are already present, while Russia and Turkey will conduct joint patrols in the area with a view to preventing renewed fighting.

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