18:04 GMT18 January 2021
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    BEIRUT (Sputnik) - Illegal armed groups with heavy weaponry remain in Syria's Idlib province despite the Russian-Turkish agreements reached in Sochi, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said Monday.

    "Speaking of the agreement on Idlib, of the creation of a demilitarized zone 15-20 kilometers wide. Until now, the terrorists are present there with their heavy weapons, which indicates the lack of desire by Turkey to fulfill its obligations," Muallem said at a meeting with the joint delegation of the International Federation of Democratic Youth and the International Peace Council.

    The minister concluded that the province was still under control by the terrorists.

    "Therefore, the Idlib province is still under control by the terrorists who are supported by Turkey and the West," Muallem stressed.

    The statement follows the recent summit on Syria, which took place in Istanbul on October 27, during which Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that Russia reserved the right to give active assistance to the Syrian government in liquidating terrorist threat in the Idlib zone. The president explained that the main threat in the province posed radicals and armed provocations.

    READ MORE: Constitution, Victory, Return, Vote: Highlights of Syria Summit in Istanbul

    Speaking about the creation of a demilitarized zone in Idlib, Putin praised the move, but underscored that this is a temporary measure. He noted that Turkey was fulfilling its obligations as a peace-guarantor in Syria, withdrawing the opposition, heavy weapons and the military from the DMZ.

    READ MORE: Russia, Turkey, Germany, France Committed to 'Syrian-owned' Political Process

    heavy weapons, terrorists, Syria, Idlib
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