Izvestia: Russia, Turkey fail to strike deal on Syria’s Idlib

Moscow and Ankara have not yet reached an agreement on Syria’s Idlib and are working towards a deal, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told Izvestia on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference. Ankara hopes that the document on the Idlib zone will be finalized after the Turkish delegation’s visit to Moscow on Monday.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said that Moscow had great expectations over the second round of negotiations. “Russia will hold thorough, meaningful talks. And we certainly hope that they will bear fruit,” the diplomat stressed.

Meanwhile, Turkish Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hami Aksoy said the exact date and venue of the next Astana summit had not yet been agreed on and this would be discussed during Monday’s meeting. Earlier, Erdogan said the summit could take place this March.

The previous round of talks between Russia and Turkey, which was held in Ankara last week, failed to yield any significant results. Cavusoglu said Turkey was actively cooperating with Russia and the outcome of this endeavor would be known on Monday after the two delegations meet. “We should not let the Syrian issue debase our cooperation and affect our relations. That’s why we are continuing the talks,” he noted.

This statement came amid Saturday’s threats by the Turkish leader against Damascus. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed that unless Assad withdrew his forces from the border defined in the Sochi agreement, Turkey would do the job before the end of February.

The top Turkish diplomat noted that Monday’s meeting in Moscow would show whether the two presidents should hold the next meeting.