The fighting in Idleb at the heart of a telephone exchange between Putin and Erdogan

Between Moscow and Ankara, dialogue is difficult on the situation in Syria. Here, during a meeting in Sochi in October 2019. Alexey DRUZHININ / SPUTNIK / AFP

Text by: RFI Follow

While the offensive of the Damascus regime forces continues in Idleb, in northern Syria, the Turkish and Russian presidents spoke on Friday by telephone.


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Diplomatic efforts continue to try to end the ordeal of the hundreds of thousands of Syrian civilians threatened by the advance of the regime's forces. Main foreign actors in the fighting raging in the province of Idleb, Presidents Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Vladimir Putin spoke by phone.

According to the Turkish presidency, Reccep Tayyip Erdogan asked his Russian counterpart to " curb " the Syrian regime. Moscow is the main political and military supporter of Bashar al-Assad and it is with the help of the powerful Russian ally that the Syrian army is currently advancing in the province of Idleb still held by rebel and jihadist groups. Also according to Ankara, the Turkish president urged his Russian counterpart to fully implement the 2018 Russian-Turkish agreement which was supposed to impose calm in the Idleb region.

Read also: Two Turkish soldiers killed in air strikes in Idleb

But it is obviously a difficult and unbalanced dialogue that Ankara and Moscow are conducting. During his conversation with his Turkish counterpart, Vladimir Putin stressed the " aggressive actions " that the jihadists are carrying out in Idleb.

The situation in northern Syria - dramatic for civilians - is of concern to Europeans, in particular France and Germany. Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel met with Vladimir Putin on Thursday and Reccep Tayip Erdogan on Friday. Paris and Berlin propose holding a summit for four, bringing together the leaders of Russia, Turkey, France and Germany.

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  • Syria
  • Recep Tayyip Erdogan
  • Vladimir Poutine

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