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Russian, Turkish presidents to discuss Idlib on September 17

Vladimir Putin and Tayyip Erdogan will discuss the situation in Idlib at a meeting on September 17 in Sochi, the Russian top diplomat says

BERLIN, September 14. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan will discuss the situation in Idlib at a meeting on September 17 in Sochi, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday at a plenary session of the German-Russian Forum.

"On September 17 there will be a new meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan. They discussed ways to settle the Idlib zone problem to minimize some risks for civilian population in Tehran on September 7," Lavrov said. "Now the military and diplomats are engaged in dialogue. On Monday, September 17, the presidents will study this situation."

Russia is consulting and will fully consult the interests of the civilian population in Idlib, he said. 

"We are definitely doing and will do everything that is possible, with regard to the problems of the civilian population," he said. "Apart from the efforts to organize local agreements (on reconciliation - TASS) with the groups located in Idlib, a humanitarian corridor is being created for those wishing to withdraw, the way we did it in southern Syria, in Homs and Eastern Ghouta."

"We will approach these issues as accurately as possible. We will be creating humanitarian corridors as well, supporting local reconciliations in every way and doing everything that is possible to protect the civilian population," the minister stressed.

Russia does not plan to act the way the US coalition did in Iraq’s Mosul and Syria’s Raqqa, when "there were no negotiations with armed opposition on local reconciliations and no humanitarian corridors were created," he said.

The terrorists staying in Idlib do not want reconciliation and are carrying out combat activities using foreign help, Lavrov said. 

"These are not people who just ensconced in Idlib like in a fortress and wish for reconciliation. It is not true. They are actively conducting combat activities from there, using the support that they are somehow receiving from abroad," the Russian top diplomat said.

The Russian foreign minister noted that the terrorists have reigned in most part of the armed opposition and are regularly trying to strike the Syrian army units and the Russian airbase in Hmeymim. "Tens of drones take off from Idlib, and one of them even managed to drop down explosives. All of them have been neutralized and destroyed since then," he said.

Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov earlier said that the next meeting between Putin and Erdogan is planned for September 17 in Sochi.