07:05 GMT +316 October 2018
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    Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, right, at a news conference following the Russian-Turkish talks in Ankara

    State Dep't Says Encouraged by Russia's, Turkey's Steps to Avoid Idlib Violence

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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The United States is encouraged by Russia's and Turkey's efforts to avoid violence in the Syrian province of Idlib, US State Department spokesperson told Sputnik on Monday.

    On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan held a meeting in Russia's Black Sea resort of Sochi, which lasted almost 4.5 hours. They have agreed to set up a demilitarized zone in Idlib by October 15.

    "We are encouraged that Turkey and Russia appear to have taken steps to avert a military offensive by the Assad regime and its allies in Idlib and welcome any sincere effort to reduce the violence in Syria," he said.

    The United States hopes that de-escalation will be permanent, the spokesperson said, adding that Washington is not involved in negotiations between Moscow and Ankara.

    The spokesperson also warned Syrian government and its allies against violence in Idlib.

    "An offensive by the Assad regime and its allies against the densely populated Idlib province would be a reckless escalation and would have serious consequences for Syria and the surrounding region…. We reiterate something both [US] President [Donald] Trump and President Putin agreed to in Da Nang, Vietnam: There is no military solution to this conflict," he said.

    READ MORE: Turkey's Hatay Residents Want Idlib Op to Start ASAP

    Washington urges all parties to turn away from further military escalation and focus on political solution, he added.

    Related:

    US, Turkey Agree 'Any' Syrian Offensive in Idlib 'Unacceptable' - US State Dept
    US Threats to Strike Syria Won't Stop Damascus From Idlib Op - Syrian FM
    State Department Says US Will Respond to Chemical Weapons Use in Idlib, Syria
    Tags:
    de-escalation, United States, Turkey, Russia, Idlib, Syria
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