Erdogan says no agreement yet on four-way Syria summit to end Idlib onslaught

Erdogan says no agreement yet on four-way Syria summit to end Idlib onslaught
France and Germany have expressed an interest in working with Russia and Turkey to end the crisis in Idlib.
2 min read
25 February, 2020
Previous talks between Russia and Turkey have been fruitless [Getty]
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday said that there was not yet a "full agreement" between Russia, France and Germany to hold a summit over the escalating crisis in Syria's Idlib

"There is no full agreement" between French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian leader Vladimir Putin, he told reporters in a televised press conference before travelling to Azerbaijan. 

Erdogan on Saturday announced he would hold a four-party summit with the leaders of Russia, France and Germany on 5 March. 

The Turkish leader on Tuesday said he might instead hold face-to-face talks with Putin on 5 March, either in Istanbul or in Ankara.

Previous talks between Erdogan and his Russian counterpart have failed to stem the ongoing violence in Idlib, where Turkish troops have come under deadly fire from Syrian regime forces this month.

Erdogan added a Russian delegation would come to Turkey on Wednesday for another round of talks. 

Read more: Syria Weekly: Few options to end catastrophe in Idlib

Ankara is calling for an end to the Moscow-backed Syrian regime's near year-long push to recapture Idlib, the country's last opposition enclave, as well as recent attacks on Turkish observation posts set up in the area following a 2018 accord with Russia.

Turkey fears the continued offensive could see hundreds of thousands of Syrians flee across its borders, a political no-go for Erdogan as the country has witnessed rising xenophobia against the more than 3.6 million Syrian refugees it hosts amid economic upheaval.

The United Nations warned on Monday against an imminent "bloodbath" as the fighting in Idlib was coming "dangerously close" to encampments holding around a million displaced people.

The northwestern province has a population of more than 3 million civilians, roughly half of whom were displaced from elsewhere in Syria.

Intensified aerial bombardment by the Syrian regime and its Russian backer has displaced around a million people since December.

Follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram to stay connected