Turkey is set to host the fifth trilateral summit with the participation of Turkish, Russian and Iranian leaders in Astana format, where the main item on agenda will be the Syrian turmoil.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is going to meet his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin and Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani in the presidential mansion in capital Ankara to start the trilateral summit.
The summit aims at assessing the latest developments in war-torn Syria — northwestern Idlib in particular — ending the conflict climate, ensuring the necessary conditions for the voluntary return of refugees, achieving a lasting truce and political solution to the Syrian turmoil.
During the bilateral talks, President Erdogan is also expected to exchange views with Putin and Rouhani on bilateral relations as well as regional and international developments.
The Astana peace process sought to end the Syrian conflict was launched in January 2017 upon the initiatives of Turkey, Russia, and Iran. A total of 13 rounds were conducted in Astana, Kazakhstan.
Turkey and Russia agreed last September to turn Idlib into a de-escalation zone where acts of aggression are expressly prohibited.
Turkey maintains that the Syrian regime and its allies, however, have consistently broken the terms of the cease-fire, launching frequent attacks inside the de-escalation zone. However, the Syrian regime’s main ally is Moscow, and Moscow has also bombed Turkish backed forces in Idlib.
Turkey maintains that the zone is currently inhabited by about 4 million civilians, including hundreds of thousands of people displaced in recent years by regime forces from cities and towns throughout the war-weary country.
Erdogan had warned that further aggression by the regime and allies might trigger an influx of millions of refugees to Turkey, which he threatens to unload towards Europe, meaning Greece.