Erdoğan, Putin discuss Idlib over phone
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Feb. 12 discussed the de-escalation of the Syrian crisis, saying Russian-Turkish agreements should be implemented in full, the Kremlin said.
The leaders reviewed “various aspects of the settlement of the Syrian crisis, first and foremost in the context of a flare-up in the Idlib de-escalation zone,” the statement said.
Elaborating on this phone conversation, Erdoğan said, “We evaluated the ongoing process in Idlib with Mr. Putin. In this evaluation, we especially dealt with the damage to our soldiers by regime forces and even by Russia.”
“We reached an agreement with Mr. Putin about the meeting of our officials from foreign affairs, defense and intelligence in Moscow. We will hold these talks as soon as possible,” he told reporters. “There is a movement of refugees towards Turkey. We do not want to look at this asylum movement with much tolerance. To prevent this, we are carrying out some work on the Syrian territory. We want to settle people there by doing these studies,” he stated.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu announced that a Turkish delegation will visit Russia for the continuation of talks that started in Ankara at the weekend. Turkish and Russian delegations had two rounds of talks in Ankara as part of efforts to calm down escalation in Idlib. Despite some setbacks, the Sochi deal is still on the table, Çavuşoğlu also said.
“Today, [Turkish] President [Recep Tayyip Erdogan] held a telephone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin. This time, our delegation will visit Moscow. [Earlier,] a Russian delegation visited Ankara twice and held meetings,” he told reporters in Tirana.