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DECEMBER 2020

Putin And Erdogan Talk Over Phone, As NATO Says It Won’t Do Anything To Support Ankara In Idlib

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Putin And Erdogan Talk Over Phone, As NATO Says It Won't Do Anything To Support Ankara In Idlib

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On February 28th, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan held a phone call discussing the implementation of agreements in Idlib, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.

“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],” he said.

Putin and Erdogan also allowed the possibility of holding new contacts on Idlib at different levels.

“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,” Lavrov informed.

Just days earlier, Lavrov said that any truce with the militants in Idlib would mean a capitulation to terrorism and that mustn’t happen.

“Otherwise it is hard to explain their statements about a possible truce with bandits, which are made during discussions of the situation in Idlib,” Lavrov pointed out. “It has nothing to do with concerns about human rights, it is a surrender to terrorists, which would encourage them to continue blatantly violating universal conventions and numerous United Nations Security Council resolutions,” he explained.

He also expressed concern that religion is being used in geopolitical gains.

“Religious divisions are growing, sacred sites are desecrated in various parts of the world in increasing numbers. Believers and priests are attacked, persecuted and killed. The number of Christians has dropped in many Middle Eastern countries or even disappeared, while it is the land where Christians lived for centuries,” Lavrov underlined.

Currently there are presumably talks taking place, as on February 26th a Russian delegation was to arrive in Ankara, according to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Separately, March 5th is named as the date when Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and Erdogan are supposed to meet and discuss Idlib.

“There is a process underway between Turkey and Russia regarding Idlib and Libya. We need to quickly resolve the Idlib issue. Russia provides the regime with the highest level of support, including air support. We have determined it despite their denial. With our 911-kilometer limit increasing here, we will not be in such a struggle, will they?” he asked.

“Even if they deny it, we have evidence. We are forced to be in this fight.”

Russian foreign minister on Feb. 24 also said that Russia and Turkey are preparing talks on how to de-escalate fighting in Idlib.

“Now we are preparing another series of consultations, which, we hope, will lead us to an agreement on how to ensure that this is really a de-escalation zone and that the terrorists do not rule there,” Sergey Lavrov told reporters in Moscow.

“I hope that the ongoing contacts between our military and the Turkish military, with the participation of diplomats and security services, will end positively, and we will be able to make sure that terrorists do not take over this part of Syria, as, in fact, they should not take over anywhere else,” he said.

There is yet no news on any progress in negotiations.

On the side of NATO, following a meeting called by Turkey on February 28th, the alliance offered little else than calls for a ceasefire and words of encouragement for Turkey.

“Allies offer their deepest condolences for the death of Turkish soldiers in last night’s bombing near Idlib.

Allies condemn the continued indiscriminate air strikes by the Syrian regime and its backer Russia in Idlib province.

We call on them to stop their offensive.

To respect international law.

And to back UN efforts for a peaceful solution.

This dangerous situation must be deescalated to avoid further worsening of the horrendous humanitarian situation in the region, and to allow urgent humanitarian access for those trapped in Idlib.  We urge an immediate return to the 2018 ceasefire.”

Furthermore, NATO continues to support Turkey with a range of measures, including by augmenting its air defences, which helps Turkey against the threat of missile attacks from Syria.

There’s been no missile attacks from Syria towards Turkish territory. So, NATO said that it would do nothing to assist Turkey’s offensive.

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