The announcement came after around six hours of talks. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, discussed issues privately for two hours and 40 minutes. Then the delegations joined them, and it was already 8 p.m. in Turkey and Russia when they finally came out to announce the results of the meetings.
The two leaders stood in front of the cameras together and said they had reached an agreement to end the fighting and look for nonmilitary solutions in the northwest of Syria.
The most important outcome is that a cease-fire is already in place, which ends all military activity and shooting in the area of Idlib.
There will be a safe passage zone covering 6 kilometers north and 6 kilometers south of the M4 highway, and Turkish and Russian forces will have joint monitoring in the M4 region.
The protocol, which includes these decisions, came as a result of Turkey’s decisiveness and military struggle against Bashar Assad's forces. The Turkish army heavily damaged the Syrian military force, who for the first time since the beginning of the Syrian war faced an ordinary army.
Erdoğan signaled that if Russia does not stop the Syrian regime, Turkey will continue to hit Assad’s military forces. Russia provided confessions and pretended, as expected, to have been unaware of the attack against the Turkish soldiers last week.
Putin’s words summarized Russia’s position. He said: "We have always solved our problems by working together. Today was no different." By that, he obviously meant that he wanted to calm the tension and stop the regime’s violence, at least for a limited time.
His condolences for the martyries was seen as goodwill for building bridges between the two countries again.
So far, the tensions seem to have calmed down. However, it should not be forgotten that the Syrian regime and its allies Russia and Iran have consistently broken the terms of the 2018 cease-fire. That actually is the reason why Turkey sent troops and equipment to the region.
With the agreement in Moscow, the situation seems to have calmed for the time being; however, we should keep in mind that since December 2019 almost 1 million people from this province have fled their homes. Yesterday's meeting was a success for Turkish diplomacy, but the fact remains that Moscow and Ankara are pursuing rival interests in Syria. Russia continues to back the Assad regime, which grants Moscow a military foothold on the Mediterranean with two coastal military bases.
Turkey, on the other hand, aims to save the lives of civilians who continue to be targeted by the regime. It also tries to protect its borders and regulate new migration waves. In order to do this, multipolar diplomacy is at stake. So I believe that Turkey-NATO and Turkey-U.S. relations will improve simultaneously after the Moscow meetings as well.