ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Turkey will host the leaders of Russia, Germany, and France on October 27 for talks on the future of Syria, Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin announced Friday.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will host Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron.
“The summit will aim to address the Syrian conflict with all its aspects, focusing on the situation on the ground, the Idlib agreement and the political process, and to harmonize joint efforts for finding a lasting solution to the conflict,” Kalin said in a statement, according to the state-run Anadolu Agency.
Ankara and Moscow recently established a buffer zone around Syria’s Idlib province – the armed opposition’s final stronghold – preventing a widely expected regime offensive.
Under the deal, opposition fighters and jihadists in Idlib had until October 10 to remove heavy weapons from the buffer zone. Members of the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) have not evacuated, however, according to the UN-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Turkey and Russia said on Tuesday they will go ahead with the plan despite the missed deadline.
Meanwhile, in the east of the country, Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces SDF, backed by the international coalition, are battling the last remnants of ISIS in the Hajin area. The US and France are playing an active role in the operation.
Moscow said the summit would allow leaders to exchange “views on the Syria issue, including the question of advancing the process of a political settlement as well as further steps in the interest of strengthening security and stability,” according to AFP.
Macron will only attend the summit on the condition the Idlib ceasefire holds, averting a “humanitarian catastrophe and a new mass wave of refugees,” the French government said in a statement.
Deputy spokesperson for the German government, Martina Fietz, said: “We expect that we can make progress towards a stabilization in Syria, knowing that this process will be very complicated and will take years,” AFP reports.
Last updated 3.03 p.m.