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The four-state summit in Syria demands a permanent ceasefire from Idlib



Istanbul (AFP) – The leaders of Turkey, Russia, France and Germany demanded on Saturday a political solution to the devastating seven-year civil war in Syria and a permanent ceasefire in the last major rebel bastion Idlib [196592002] One at the end of one Major summit in Istanbul adopted a joint statement saying that countries had pledged to "work together to create conditions for peace and stability in Syria".

It also stressed the importance of a permanent ceasefire. in Idlib, having reached an agreement last month between Syrian regime supporter Russia and rebel supporter Turkey to create a buffer zone around the northwestern province

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke for several hours with the Russian Vladimir Putin, France's Emmanuel Macron and Chancellor Angela Merkel on the Syrian conflict, in which since 2011 more than 360,000 people were killed.

In its statement read by Erdogan, a committee was called for by the end of the year to prepare Syria for the postwar constitution "paving the way for free and fair elections in war-torn countries"

It was also said that it existed " the need to protect humanitarian organizations "faster, safer and unhindered access throughout Syria and immediate humanitarian assistance to reach all needy people.

– "Preventing Humanitarian Disaster" –

The talks came after a week of escalating violence in Idlib culminating in artillery fire of the Syrian regime After the joint press conference in Istanbul, the leaders spoke separately and Macron urged Russia to put pressure on to exercise the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to achieve a "stable and lasting ceasefire in Idlib."

"We depend on Russia to exert very significant pressure on the regime that depends on it," he said

Putin warned, however, that if "radicals" "launch armed provocations from the idlib zone, Russia reserves the right to actively assist the Syrian government in liquidating this source of terrorist threat."

Merkel said However, the leaders have "the duty to prevent another humanitarian catastrophe. "

" The challenge is to end two wars: the war on terror and the regime's war against large parts of its own population, "she said.

" A solution can not happen through military means, but only through political negotiations under the leadership of the United Nations.

A United Nations rival plan for a committee to write the constitution ran aground this week, UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura, who visited the summit, said Damascus declined that the UN should play a role in the selection process

The summit also addressed the plight of millions displaced by the grueling conflict and said that conditions must be created "throughout the country for the safe and voluntary return of refugees."

However, whether the people forced to flee were allowed to vote in a future election was left to the separate press conferences

"We must with the English: , which must end with free elections that are open to all Syrians, including those in the Diaspora, Merkel said.

Erdogan, a loud opponent of Assad, agreed and said Syrians are "inside and out" The country must decide on the fate of the president

– "Russia can not replace the US" –

relief organizations have Seven years of war warned that a military offensive by the Syrian government in Idlib, home to three million people, could trigger one of the worst humanitarian disasters in the country

Moscow and Ankara agreed on September 17 with an impending attack by government forces Creation of a 15-20-kilometer-wide demilitarized zone that rang Idlib, while Turkey attempted to avoid an attack that led to another influx of people acro

On Friday, Syria's UN Envoy Bashar Jaafari claimed that the buffer zone was temporary and that Idlib would eventually return to government control.

Turkey and Russia have held several talks with Iran over the Syrian conflict, which was often viewed with suspicion in the West, but the Saturday's summit saw the first signing of the EU's two main national leaders.

The Syrian opposition, which had designated Russia's military intervention in 2015 as a garrison, said this on Friday welcomed the dialogue with Moscow.

However, US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis said at a security conference in Bahrain that Russia is no substitute for the United States.

"Russia's presence in the region can not replace the long-standing, lasting and transparent US engagement with the Middle East," said Mattis.


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