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Putin and Erdogan Speak on Idlib, and Putin Holds Emergency Meeting with His Security Council

Feb. 28, 2020 (EIRNS)—Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan held a phone call on Feb. 28, at Turkey’s request, reported TASS today. According to a short statement from Erdogan, Putin agreed to meet at some point in the future, and Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov affirmed that “the meeting between President Putin and President Erdogan in Moscow on March 5 or 6 is being worked out at the moment.”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told media: “Today, a phone call between Presidents Putin and Erdogan has been held at the initiative of the Turkish leader. The talks were detailed. They discussed the need to do everything possible to implement the original agreements on the de-escalation zone” in Idlib, Lavrov said. “A possibility was discussed to shortly hold necessary contacts at this or that level. Literally an hour-and-a-half ago, reports came that the Russian and Turkish negotiators who worked in Ankara yesterday and the day before yesterday, had agreed to continue work today.”

Putin held an emergency meeting with Russia’s Security Council regarding the escalation in Syria’s Idlib, according to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov. Peskov told reporters, the President and Security Council held “a detailed conversation about the situation around Syria’s Idlib and voiced their extreme concern over the flare-up in that Syrian region, which was triggered by terrorist groups who stepped up offensives against the Syrian army,” TASS quoted him as saying.

Peskov said that according to the Security Council, Russia did everything possible for the security of Turkish forces at observation posts during the Syrian government troops’ offensive against terrorist formations in Idlib. “None of these Turkish servicemen either suffered or came under threat at these posts. The tragic deaths of [33] Turkish troops occurred at the places of offensive operations by terrorist formations, among which, incidentally, there are numerous foreign mercenaries, including citizens of the former Soviet Union,” Peskov said. “The Turkish side did not report about the presence of Turkish forces there, despite our inquiries.”

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