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Erdogan, Putin to meet on March 5 or 6 - Turkish foreign minister

In the Friday phone call, the Russian and Turkish presidents focused on the urgency of extra measures to normalize the situation in northwestern Syria

DOHA, February 29. /TASS/. A summit meeting of the Turkish and Russian Presidents, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Vladimir Putin, will take place on March 5 or 6, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters on Saturday.

"The issue [Idlib crisis] might be solved only at the meeting of Presidents Erdogan and Putin. We are working on it. The meeting will take place in early March, either on March 5 or 6," he said.

In the Friday phone call, the Russian and Turkish presidents focused on the urgency of extra measures to normalize the situation in northwestern Syria. The Kremlin press office said that the sides agreed "to speed up corresponding consultations between agencies and to work out the possibility of a summit meeting in the near future."

Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the presidents discussed the potential meeting in the phone call.

"The meeting between President Putin and President Erdogan in Moscow on March 5 or 6 is being worked out at the moment," he added.

 

Escalation in Idlib

The tensions in Syria’s Idlib region escalated on Thursday after militants launched a large-scale offensive, according to the Russian Defense Ministry. In the early hours of Friday, the Syrian government forces conducted strikes on their positions, which, as Ankara claims, killed 33 Turkish soldiers. In response, Turkey’s Air Force conducted strikes on the Syrian troops, later specifying that more than 200 targets had been hit.

The Russian Defense Ministry told reporters that the Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham terrorist group (one of the names of Jabhat al-Nusra, banned in Russia) unleashed a large-scale offensive on Idlib on Thursday. The killed Turkish soldiers were among the advancing terrorists, the Russian Defense Ministry stated adding that the Aerospace Forces were not used in that area.