Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called the results of negotiations with Russia over Idlib as “unsatisfactory.” However, the Turkish leader indicated that Ankara’s military operation in the north-west of the Arab Republic is just a “matter of time”.
Speaking today, on February 19, to the leadership of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Turkey, Erdogan discussed the Turkish government’s plans to make Idlib a “safe zone” despite understanding hat Ankara could pay a high“high price” for it.
As EurAsian Times reported earlier, the two-day talks in the building of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation were held behind closed doors with the participation of diplomats, representatives of the Ministry of Defense and special representatives from Russia and Syria.
The Russian delegation was led by the Special Representative of the President of the Russian Federation for the Syrian Settlement Alexander Lavrentiev and Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Vershinin, while the Turkish side was represented by the Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Onal.
The parties did not comment on the outcome of the discussions. According to diplomatic sources in Ankara, Turkey’s concern about the situation in northwestern Syria was brought to the attention of the Russian side.
Officials from Ankara insisted on the need for an early de-escalation in Idlib and the prevention of “another round of humanitarian catastrophe” in the region. Judging by the state media in Turkey, no agreement was reached on de-escalation route in the north-west of the Arab Republic.
Earlier, the AKP spokesman Omer Celik revealed some of the results of the two-day talks on Idlib. According to Celik, the position of Ankara on the need to withdraw the forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad outside the de-escalation zone was conveyed to the Russian side. Otherwise, Turkey will use own resources, for which military training has already commenced,” the AKP representative emphasized.