Istanbul (dpa) - Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan receives Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Iranian counterpart Hassan Ruhani for talks on civil war Syria this Monday.

A focus of the tripartite summit in Ankara is according to Turkish statements the situation in the rebel stronghold Idlib. In addition, it should therefore go to a voluntary return of refugees to Syria. Bilateral talks are also planned.

Around three million people live in the Idlib region. Syria's government threatens further attacks on the area. In the case of a new government offensive, hundreds of thousands of people could flee to Turkey and from there on to Europe. Erdogan wants to prevent further escalation of the fighting. His country has already received more than 3.6 million Syrian refugees.

Turkey supports various rebel groups in Syria. Russia and Iran, on the other hand, are on the side of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. In the so-called Astana process, the three states have been negotiating a solution in the civil war country since 2017 - so far with little success.

In September last year, Putin and Erdogan had agreed to set up a buffer zone in Idlib. Even then a government offensive should be prevented. However, the agreement failed, partly because the strongest rebel group in the region, the militant Islamist militia Haiat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), did not feel bound by the agreement.

Russia, Turkey and Iran also seek to form a constitutional committee for Syria. At the end of August, Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) said at the G7 summit in Biarritz that such a political process could begin soon.

Declaration Presidential Office Ankara Tripartite Summit