8 European UN members back Turkey’s Idlib diplomacy

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A Syrian fruit peddlar hands out bananas to a motorcyclist from his stall in a street in the rebel-held northern Syrian city of Idlib on September 6, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Zein Al RIFAI

Eight European UN Security Council members support Turkey’s diplomatic efforts to halt an offensive in Idlib, northwest Syria, according to Sweden’s UN envoy, the Hürriyet Daily News reported.

Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Sweden to the UN Olof Skoog said at the organization’s headquarters in New York on Thursday that a full-scale military operation in Idlib would escalate an already dangerous conflict in a volatile region.

“Idlib is the last remaining de-escalation zone in Syria that the Astana guarantors committed to safeguard. … We express our support for the urgent diplomatic efforts being made to this end by Turkey and the United Nations,” said Skoog.

The eight Security Council members that support Turkey’s efforts are Italy, Germany, France, Britain, the Netherlands, Sweden, Belgium and Poland.

Skoog demanded that Russia and Iran uphold the “cease-fire and de-escalation arrangements they have previously agreed, including protecting civilians as a matter of priority.”

On Friday Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan travelled to Tehran to attend a trilateral meeting on Syria.

During the summit Erdoğan, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iran’s Hassan Rouhani discussed joint efforts as part of the Astana process and political efforts to find a lasting solution to the Syrian conflict.

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