ANKARA, November 23. /TASS/. The Turkish-Russian agreement on establishing a demilitarized zone in the Syrian province of Idlib "is being implemented at a good pace," Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told the CNN Turk TV channel on Friday.
"There is a need to take additional security measures along the M4 and M5 highways [in Idlib,’ he said. "The memorandum on Idlib is being implemented at a good pace. However, the steps we have taken will not make it possible to ensure a permanent ceasefire unless a political solution is found," the Turkish top diplomat added.
Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said at a briefing on Thursday that "despite Ankara’s significant efforts to implement the Russian-Turkish memorandum signed on September 17, difficulties persist in setting up a demilitarized zone in Idlib." In this regard, she mentioned last week’s attack on the Syrian government troops’ positions near the Jurin settlement, carried by terrorists affiliated with Al-Qaeda (outlawed in Russia), which claimed the lives of 18 military servicemen.
According to the Russian-Turkish memorandum, signed in Sochi on September 17 following talks between the two countries’ presidents, a 15 to 20 kilometer-wide demilitarized zone was to be set up in the Syrian province of Idlib by October 15. However, Ankara asked to be given more time and postpone the launch of joint patrols, saying that it was impossible to guarantee security.