The current situation near Syria’s Idlib

Turkey believes that the current situation near Syria’s Idlib does not need top-level discussion with Russia, Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Friday.

"We don’t need a summit, but we continue cooperation with each other at other levels, so the work continues," he said, answering a TASS question on when the second top-level meeting on the situation near Idlib between Russia and Turkey may take place, which Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan earlier talked about. "We don’t need a new summit, as there is no any extraordinary situation."

"Our militaries, the intelligence and foreign ministers are working in close contact with each other," he added.

Cavusoglu added that he discussed the situation in Idlib with Lavrov on the sidelines of the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC). "We always discuss this issue," he said. "It was discussed, in particular, at a meeting between Presidents Putin and Erdogan at the G20 summit. We are taking all possible efforts to secure the implementation of the memorandum on Idlib and preserve peace there."

"We also stepped up efforts to form the Syrian Constitutional Committee and convene it for the first time as soon as possible," Cavusoglu added.

On September 17, 2018, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan agreed to create a demilitarized zone 15-20 km deep in the Idlib Governorate along the contact line between the Syrian government forces and the armed opposition. However, Ankara asked additional time and postpone the start of joint patrolling in Idlib in light of its inability to guarantee the terms of security.