Turkey hosts a quadripartite summit on Syria without the participation of the United States
Why Turkey is invading Syria
Meeting participants want to find ways to a political solution to the Syrian conflict
The first ever quadripartite summit on the Syrian civil war began in Turkey on October 27. US and Iran – two important players in the Syrian conflict – are not participating in this event.
The summit, which opened in Istanbul, is attended by the presidents of Turkey, Russia, France and Germany. The main goal is to achieve a ceasefire between the Syrian rebels, backed by Ankara, and the government forces, backed by Moscow. The meeting participants also seek to identify possible political solutions to the Syrian conflict..
On the eve, Turkish leader Recep Erdogan met with Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The press services of the heads of state did not disclose details and did not specify what issues were discussed during the meetings. According to Reuters, the Turkish President also met with French President Emmanuel Macron..
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European, Russian Leaders Join Erdogan at Summit on Syrian Civil War
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The decision to hold the summit in Istanbul was made in September in Sochi, Russia. Then Erdogan and Putin agreed to prevent the aggressive actions of Damascus in the northwestern province of Idlib.
Idlib is the last major bulwark of the Syrian opposition forces. They decided to strengthen the deal on Idlib due to the participation of Berlin and Paris in the current round of negotiations. According to analysts, Moscow appears ready to agree to abide by the terms of the agreement, at least at this stage..
According to Kremlin officials, the Idlib deal is working, and Ankara is complying with earlier agreements. Under the terms of the deal, Turkey agreed to assist in the withdrawal of extremist groups and heavy weapons held by the rebels from the demilitarized zone. It is located between the territories controlled by the opposition forces and the Assad regime.
Since 3 million people live in Idlib, analysts emphasize: European leaders fear that military actions in this region will provoke a new massive influx of refugees into Europe. The leaders of France and Germany in the course of the negotiations should strengthen the position of Ankara and balance the interests of all parties in order to deprive Moscow, the main supporter of the regime of Bashar al-Assad..
Refugee camp in Idlib province, Syria
Even during the summit, they will discuss the upcoming reconstruction of Syria after a devastating war. According to UN estimates, this will require about $ 250 billion. It is expected that Europe, and especially Germany, will be among the main financial sources of this project..
However, observers say that big breakthroughs should not be expected from the Istanbul summit. Moscow has already suggested not to overestimate the significance of this meeting.
“We have already said that it is probably a mistake to predict that the summit is being held with the aim of reaching some specific agreements: it is obvious that one has to be realistic, this is not so. But synchronizing clocks, exchanging views, finding possible areas of interaction is an excellent platform for achieving these goals, ”said Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for Vladimir Putin on October 22.