Turkey to host Syria summit with Russian Federation and Iran

Pauline Gross
February 9, 2018

The date of the upcoming Istanbul summit has not been decided.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has assured Iran's president that his country's military operation in northern Syria is a temporary one and Turkey does not have its eye on Syria's territory, ARMENPRESS reports citing Iran Front Page.

Russian Federation and its Syrian government allies have intensified air strikes against opposition-held areas leading to scores of civilian deaths in recent days.

The leaders of Turkey, Russia and Iran agreed on Thursday to meet in Istanbul to discuss the conflict in Syria, a Turkish presidential source said.

Turkey, Iran and Russian Federation had taken part in a three-way process at a summit in Sochi to gear up efforts for a political solution to the Syrian turmoil, leading to the formation of the Syrian National Dialogue Congress.

However, Turkey's ongoing military operation in Afrin against the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) has drawn criticism from Iran.

In its readout of the talks, the Kremlin said Putin and Erdogan "confirmed their commitment to a political settlement" to the Syrian conflict.

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The source added the two leaders agreed to hasten the establishment of military observation posts in Syria's Idlib region, as well as discussing the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Eastern Ghouta, near Damascus.

Some Russian officials have expressed concern about the Turkish offensive but analysts believe it would never have gone ahead without at least the tacit assent of Moscow.

Moscow has spearheaded the talks in Kazakh capital Astana over the past year as it tries to turn its game-changing military intervention into a negotiated settlement.

"The current contacts between Tehran and Ankara were encouraged by Moscow, that interfered to contain the escalating disputed between both sides", a Russian diplomatic source told Asharq Al-Awsat.

Putin and Erdogan also underscored the importance of "strict and unfailing adherence" to the Astana agreements on de-escalation zones in Syria, the statement said.

Turkey, however, has backed the rebels seeking Assad's departure in a conflict that has left more than 400,000 dead.

But Russia and Turkey have been working together since a 2016 reconciliation deal ended a crisis caused by the shooting down of a Russian war plane over Syria.

Other reports by GizPress

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