Erdoğan, Putin discuss latest developments in Syria's Idlib in phone call

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 28.10.2017 23:21
Updated 29.10.2017 09:20
emAA Photo/em
AA Photo

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan held a phone call late Saturday with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to discuss the latest developments in Syria's Idlib.

Addressing the upcoming Astana talks, Erdoğan and Putin stressed the importance of maintaining close contact and coordinated action regarding the Syrian conflict.

According to presidential sources, the two leaders also discussed bilateral relations between Turkey and Russia.

Erdoğan and Putin touched upon the significance of cooperation in the energy sector, agreeing on the need to take necessary steps to foster bilateral trade between the two countries.

Sources also said that the Russian president congratulated Erdoğan and the Turkish people on the 94th anniversary of the proclamation of the Republic of Turkey.

Turkey's military began setting up observation posts in Idlib in October under a deal with Russia and Iran to reduce clashes between the opposition groups and the regime by establishing de-escalation zones. But the deployment was also seen as partly aimed at containing the YPG militia.

Earlier this month, President Erdoğan announced that Turkey was conducting a "serious operation" with the Free Syrian Army (FSA) as part of the de-escalation deal.

The operation in Idlib is the second time in over a year that the Turkish military has crossed into Syria. The first, Operation Euphrates Shield, was launched on Aug. 24, 2016, in collaboration with the FSA. It liberated several Daesh strongholds, including Jarablous, Dabiq, al-Rai and al-Bab.

The operation dealt a severe blow to Daesh and more than 2,000 square kilometers (770 square miles) of area in northern Syria was taken under control. More than 100,000 Syrian refugees have since returned to their hometowns in the liberated areas.

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