Erdogan Urges Putin to Hold Another Summit on Syria's Idlib

Turkish president calls on Russian counterpart at sidelines of G-20 to discuss the enclave where the two are trying to create a sustainable demilitarized zone

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, November 19, 2018.
Mikhail Klimentyev/AP

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday he should hold another summit to discuss the situation in Syria’s Idlib province where the two countries are trying to create a sustainable demilitarized zone.

Erdogan made the suggestion during a meeting with Putin on the sidelines of the G-20 summit.

Global leaders gathered in the Argentine capital Buenos Aires last week for the Group of 20 summit, a meeting of the world's largest economies responsible for 85 percent of global economic output and two-thirds of the world's population.

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The presidents of Russia, Turkey and Iran met in Tehran in September in attempts to reach a last-minute deal to avert a bloodbath in Idlib, Syria's crowded northwestern province and last opposition stronghold.

The Syrian government’s ally Russia, and Turkey, which backs Syrian rebels, agreed in September to create a demilitarized zone around the insurgent-held northwestern enclave of Idlib. But exchanges of shelling have been common since then and the first air strikes since the deal hit the area on November 25.