Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced on Friday that his country’s forces will not withdraw from Idlib, and called for the establishment of a safe zone inside Syrian territory with a depth of between 30 and 35 kilometers.
The Turkish President indicated, in a press conference, that he had proposed a four-way summit on Idlib, but that Russian President Vladimir Putin had not yet responded, but he made it clear that he would speak with the Russian President at 3 pm GMT today, as Turkey’s position on Idlib will be determined based on the dialogue between them.
According to Erdogan, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel proposed organizing a four-way summit (Turkish, Russian, German, French) in Istanbul on the fifth of next march.
The Turkish president said, at a press conference, that Putin had not yet responded to the proposal, according to various news agencies.
Erdogan stressed that the Turkish forces in Syria managed to “neutralize” about 150 elements of the Syrian forces, “noting also the destruction of 12 tanks, 3 armored vehicles, 14 cannons, and two Doshka vehicles in Idlib.
In a phone call with the French President and the German Chancellor, on Friday, Erdogan called on the European leaders to take “concrete steps” to prevent a “humanitarian catastrophe” in the Syrian province of Idlib.
In a statement, the Turkish presidency said that Erdogan stressed the need to stop the attacks “by the (Syrian) regime and its supporters in Idlib,” stressing the importance of taking “concrete steps to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe.”
On Thursday, the German government announced that Merkel and Macron had expressed their “concern” about the “catastrophic humanitarian situation” in Idlib province during a phone call to Putin, whose country is the main supporter of Damascus.
She added in a statement that Merkel and Macron “expressed their desire to meet Presidents Putin and Erdogan to discuss reaching a political solution to the crisis,” but the statement did not mention the possibility of holding a summit between the four parties, according to Agence France-Presse.
For his part, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in press statements that there is “a discussion about the possibility of holding a summit,” adding that “there is still no clear decision on the matter. If the four leaders deem it necessary, then we do not exclude the possibility of organizing such a meeting.”.