Erdogan Confirms Intention to Meet With Putin, Merkel, Macron to Discuss Idlib on 5 March

MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan confirmed on Saturday that he intended to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron in Istanbul on 5 March to discuss the situation in Syrian Idlib.
"I held telephone conversations with Putin, Macron and Merkel on Idlib. We will meet together on 5 March and discuss this topic again", Erdogan said, speaking in Izmir province.

On Friday, Erdogan said that the leaders of France and Germany had offered Putin hold a summit on Syria on 5 March in Istanbul.

Earlier in February, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Turkey had not fulfilled several key commitments on Idlib, including its failure to distinguish between the armed opposition, which is ready for dialogue with the government within the framework of the political process, and terrorists. In turn, Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay has claimed that Ankara had fulfilled its obligations in Idlib.

Idlib remains the last stronghold of militants and terrorists in Syria. In September 2018, Russia and Turkey agreed to create a demilitarized buffer zone in the province, but militants continued to stage attacks on the Syrian government troops and civilians, which resulted in a new offensive of Damascus in the region.

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