MOSCOW, January 16. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan will hold talks in Moscow on January 23, discussing the situation in Syria in light of Washington’s plans to pull troops out of the country, Russian Presidential Aide Yuri Ushakov told reporters.
"We have agreed with the Turkish authorities that talks will be held during Turkish President Erdogan’s working visit to Moscow on January 23, which will particularly focus on the situation in Syria in light of Washington’s plans to withdraw troops," Ushakov said.
He stressed that Russia placed great importance on the coordination of activities with Turkey as far as efforts to resolve the Syria issue were concerned. He pointed out that the implementation of the Russian-Turkish memorandum on the Idlib de-escalation zone, adopted on September 17, 2018, "proved to be a significant contribution to ensuring the ceasefire." "At the same time, the number of provocations carried out by terrorists has been growing recently, they even strengthened their position in the de-escalation zone, so the need arose to hold a new round of consultations with the Turkish leadership," the Kremlin aide said.
Besides, in Ushakov’s words, there also are plans to discuss other aspects of the Syria issue, including the launch of the Constitutional Committee. He noted that "as the international community expected, the Astana trio [Russia, Turkey and Iran] has put forward a list of candidates representing the civil society, who are planned to be included in the Constitutional Committee."
Ushakov also said that the situation in the Idlib de-escalation zone "causes concern as it is rather difficult." "I think that the main aspects of the Syria settlement process will be discussed," he added. The Russian presidential aide pointed out that Moscow and Ankara had been maintaining close dialogue, including contacts between the two countries’ defense and foreign ministries and talks between the heads of state, who "often hold phone conversations, and not there is a need for a personal meeting.".