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Russia, Turkey Still Reach No Agreement on Syria’s Idlib Province after Two Days of Talks

Feb. 18, 2020 (EIRNS)—Russian and Turkish delegations of diplomatic, military and intelligence officials met in Moscow for the second straight day, today, to continue discussions on how to resolve the situation in Syria’s Idlib province. The meeting, however, apparently ended without agreement. As with earlier sessions, including two last week in Ankara, the Russian side has issued no public statements but the Turks have repeated their demand that Syrian forces withdraw back to the lines as they existed at the time of the September 2018 Sochi agreement between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

“Our main objective is to return to the terms set forth by the Sochi agreement for Idlib,” Turkish Presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said late today, reported the Daily Sabah. “Russia’s proposals during the Idlib talks have so far proved unacceptable for Turkey. What’s important for Turkey is the recognition of borders set by our observation points, and the cessation of attacks by the Assad regime.” Since Nov. 1, the Syrian army has liberated approximately one-third of the territory in Idlib and Aleppo provinces that were previously occupied by Hayat Tahrir al Sham and other terrorist groups at the cost of much blood, and Damascus is unlikely to agree to relinquish that territory.

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