Russia, Germany, France, Turkey agree on political solution in Syria's Idlib
14 Sep 2018, 22:28 ( 14 Sep, 2018)
Senior officials of Turkey, Russia, Germany and France agreed on Friday on the necessity of a political solution in the Syrian province of Idlib, the last stronghold for rebels, a Turkish presidential adviser said.
"It is everyone's common belief that the solution in Idlib must be political rather than military," Ibrahim Kalin told reporters after hosting a meeting in Istanbul with officials from the three states.
He said there was a general consensus that the consequences of an attack on Idlib would be severe, including triggering a new wave of migration.
Russian presidential aide Yuri Ushakov, German chancellor's foreign policy adviser Jan Hecker and French president's diplomatic adviser Philippe Etienne joined the meeting to set the program and other details of a summit meeting of leaders of the four countries in the upcoming days.
"During our meeting, we had a chance to discuss what steps we could take to prevent a disaster from occurring in Idlib," Kalin said, highlighting Turkey's expectations of the international community and world leaders to voice more open and direct support on the subject.
Maintaining Idlib's current status, protecting civilians and preventing a humanitarian crisis are among Ankara's top priorities, the presidential aide noted.
He said the date and venue for the upcoming quartet summit will be finalized later after the officials evaluate the results of the meeting with their leaders.
Earlier in the day, local media reported that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan would meet his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Monday over Idlib in Russia's Black Sea resort city of Sochi, where the two leaders had a summit with their Iranian counterpart last week in Tehran but failed to agree on a cease-fire in Idlib.
Turkey and its Western allies are trying to thwart an assault on Idlib by the Syrian army and its allies, namely Russian and Iranian forces.