Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to help end ceasefire violations in Syria’s Idlib, Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Tuesday, adding that the two presidents had discussed the issue on the sidelines of the Berlin conference on Libya on January 19.
“Our president cited statistics to explain how serious the situation was [in Idlib]. He told Putin frankly that ceasefire violations must come to an end. We also made the same appeal to the international community,” the Turkish top diplomat pointed out.
On January 10, the Turkish Defense Ministry announced that Ankara and Moscow had reached an agreement to declare a ceasefire in Idlib starting on January 12. At the same time, Chief of the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the Opposing Sides in Syria Major General Yuri Borenkov stated that a ceasefire had been declared in the Idlib de-escalation zone on January 9.
Idlib is the only region in Syria that is still controlled by illegal armed groups. A de-escalation zone was set up there in 2017, and militants reluctant to lay down their arms moved there from the Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta and the country’s south. The Turkish army has 12 observation posts in the Idlib province.
On January 19, the German capital of Berlin hosted an international conference on resolving the Libyan crisis. The event’s participants adopted a statement, calling for a ceasefire, the creation of a unified government and reforms aimed at restoring the country’s statehood. They also committed to refraining from interference in Libya’s affairs.