The second round of talks between Turkey and Russia remained inconclusive after Turkish officials said they were unsatisfied with a Russian proposal for northwest Syria's Idlib.
The talks were prompted by the recent escalation in Idlib where Bashar Assad forces killed 13 Turkish soldiers.
Turkey condemned Russia's policy of wanting to take over Idlib territory but not care for its people.
The U.N. recently confirmed that at least 1,700 civilians were killed and nearly 900,000 were displaced from the Idlib de-escalation zone in the nine months of violence perpetrated by Russia and the Assad regime.
During the two-day closed-door talks in Moscow, the Russian delegation, led by the presidential envoy for Syria, Sergey Vershinin, and the Turkish delegation, headed by Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Önal, tried to find a solution to the latest outbreak of violence in the Idlib de-escalation zone.
The Russian side proposed a map that moves the Sochi deal borders north of the strategic M4 and M5 highways. The map, which puts 60% of Idlib under regime control and envisages the relocation of Turkish observation posts to the north, was rejected by the Turkish delegation.
The Russian delegation's claim that Hmeimim airbase was being attacked, was similarly rejected by the Turkish delegation, which pointed out that Hmeimim is southwest of Idlib while the regime’s attacks take place in Idlib’s southeast, constituting a wide gap between the two points.
Turkey is determined not to roll back the Sochi deal and to take the necessary steps to end the Assad regime’s aggression.
Turkey, which does not aim to gain territory but to end the humanitarian disaster and displacement, will make no concessions on its observation points.
Now, all eyes are on the third round of talks scheduled to take place in Ankara next week. Reports said the two countries' presidents may meet if no result comes out of the third round of talks.
As President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s deadline given to the regime for withdrawing behind the Sochi deal borders draws near, reports also suggested that a trilateral meeting between Turkey, Russia and Iran could be held in the Iranian capital Tehran on March 5. But the date was subject to change according to the developments in Idlib.
Backed by heavy Russian airstrikes, Syrian regime forces have been fighting since the start of the year to recapture the Aleppo countryside and parts of neighboring Idlib, the last opposition stronghold in the country.
The advances have sent hundreds of thousands of Syrian civilians fleeing toward the border with Turkey in the biggest single displacement of the nine-year war.
It has also upset the fragile cooperation between Ankara and Moscow, which back opposing sides in the conflict.
In September 2018, Turkey and Russia agreed to turn Idlib into a de-escalation zone in which acts of aggression are expressly prohibited.
But more than 1,800 civilians have since been killed in attacks by the Assad regime and Russian forces, flouting both the 2018 cease-fire and a new one that started on Jan. 12.
Please click to read our informative text prepared pursuant to the Law on the Protection of Personal Data No. 6698 and to get information about the cookies used on our website in accordance with the relevant legislation.
6698 sayılı Kişisel Verilerin Korunması Kanunu uyarınca hazırlanmış aydınlatma metnimizi okumak ve sitemizde ilgili mevzuata uygun olarak kullanılan çerezlerle ilgili bilgi almak için lütfen tıklayınız.