Putin’s special Syria envoy held talks with Turkish officials in Ankara
Turkey and Russia held talks on April 18 regarding developments in Syria, including the situation in Eastern Ghouta, Idlib and northern Syria following a joint strike by the U.S., France and the U.K. punishing the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a written statement that consultations were held between a high-level Russian interdepartmental delegation with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s advisor, İbrahim Kalın and Turkish Foreign Ministry Deputy Undersecretary Sedat Önal. The Russian side included Russia’s special presidential envoy on a Syrian settlement Alexander Lavrentyev and Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin.
“The participants thoroughly examined the current situation in Syria, including Eastern Ghouta, Idlib province and northern Syria, as well as tasks related to promoting the political settlement of the Syrian crisis based on U.N. Security Council Resolution 2254,” read the statement.
Turkey, Russia and Iran are “guarantors” of the Astana process, which aims to cement ceasefire in the war-torn country through the establishment of de-escalation zones in different regions of the country, including Idlib. Turkey has so far established nine observation posts in Idlib and is due to set up three more to monitor the ceasefire between the Syrian regime and opposition groups.
UN’s de Mistura in Ankara
In the meantime, U.N. Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura has arrived in the Turkish capital for talks with Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Ümit Yalçın and Deputy Undersecretary Sedat Önal, diplomatic sources said.
De Mistura will visit Tehran and Moscow after his meetings in Ankara, sources added.
His visit to Ankara comes amid initiatives to accelerate efforts for a peaceful solution to the Syrian question by linking the results of the Astana Process with the U.N.-led Geneva Process.