Turkey is heading to Moscow for a high-level summit on Syria, hoping to come to an agreement with the Russians, presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalın said Wednesday.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will meet with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Thursday to discuss the Idlib crisis in Syria.
“Our main purpose is to urgently provide a cease-fire within the Idlib agreement we signed with the Russian Federation,” Kalın told reporters after a cabinet meeting at the Presidential Complex in Ankara.
According to Kalın, Turkey’s main expectation is that Russia should adhere to the agreement that was signed in Sochi in 2018. It will determine the situation in the Idlib conflict zone, he added.
“Thus, this agreement will be implemented, the conflicts will be ended and an important step will be taken to overcome the refugee crisis,” he said.
The Bashar Assad regime announced Wednesday that an election in Syria will be held in April this year. Kalin expressed worries that this election will be no differ from the previous one. “It will neither have legitimacy in the eyes of the Syrian people nor the international community,” he said.
Kalın said the solution for the Syrian crisis is the basic principles determined within the framework of the decision No. 2254 taken by the United Nations Security Council. He added that the constitutional commission has to complete its work as soon as possible and open the doors to international observers to make elections transparent and legitimate.
Following a regime airstrike on Turkish forces in Idlib that killed 36 troops, Turkey launched Operation Spring Shield to push Assad forces behind the lines specified in the Sochi deal.
Turkish officials have been criticizing Russia for supporting the Assad regime forces, which have been carrying out attacks targeting civilians in the de-escalation zone, disregarding previous deals.
It has been months now since regime forces sped up attacks on Idlib, targeting innocent civilians under the pretext of fighting terrorists. However, the regime is not alone in its attacks, ongoing since April 2019, as its backer, Russia, is often active on the ground, aggravating the humanitarian crisis. According to U.N. figures, nearly a million have been displaced, fleeing from the regime and Russia’s attacks toward safer areas near the Turkish border.
The regime and its supporters have been violating the Sochi agreement that was reached on Sept. 17, 2018, by Turkey and Russia. According to the agreement, the cease-fire in the Idlib region would be preserved, with the withdrawal of heavy arms and radicals from the region.