TEHRAN, February 29. /TASS/. A political solution remains the only possible way to end the Syria crisis, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday in a phone call with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
"Erdogan named political dialogue as the only solution to Syrian problems," the Iranian presidential press office said.
According to the press office, the Turkish president pointed out that "the talks [within the Astana format] have yielded meaningful results and they should be continued for the sake of a stable peace [in Syria]."
According to Erdogan, "the current situation in Idlib cannot remain as it is."
"We are alarmed by the implementation of the Astana agreements," he added.
For his part, the Iranian president mentioned "the country’s readiness to host the next round of trilateral talks" within the framework of Astana process.
"We must seek a solution through dialogue, so we must not allow the Astana process to be derailed," Rouhani said.
Moscow, Tehran and Ankara are the three guarantor states at the Astana talks on Syria. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said earlier that the presidents of Russia, Iran and Turkey - Vladimir Putin, Hassan Rouhani and Recep Tayyip Erdogan - could hold a trilateral summit in Tehran in early March to seek solutions to the Syria crisis.
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.
The recent flare-up was in focus of a phone talk between the presidents of Russia and Turkey, Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan. They emphasized the urgency to de-escalate the tensions and agreed to work out the possibility of a summit meeting in the near future.