Turkey continues to cooperate closely with Russia to implement the agreements on the Syrian province of Idlib reached by the presidents of both countries in September last year, Turkey’s Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said on Saturday.
The Turkish defense minister made this statement after a meeting with Chief of the General Staff Yasar Guler, Head of the National Intelligence Organization Hakan Fidan and Land Forces Commander Umit Dundar. The meeting of the Turkish top brass was held on the border with Syria.
"Turkey is doing everything possible for preserving stability and keeping the ceasefire [in Idlib] as part of the Sochi agreements. Our close cooperation with Russia in this area continues," the Anadolu news agency quoted Akar as saying.
At their meeting in Sochi on September 17, 2018, Russian and Turkish Presidents Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan agreed to create a demilitarized zone by October 15 in the province of Idlib, 15-20 km deep along the engagement line of the Syrian government troops and the armed opposition. However, Ankara asked for more time and for postponing the start of joint patrols in Idlib due to its inability to provide security guarantees.