Turkey’s priorities in Idlib are to reach ceasefire, prevent migration influx: minister

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Hulusi Akar

Turkey’s Defense Minister Hulusi Akar on Thursday said talks on Syria with Russian officials in Ankara would produce results in a couple of days, adding that the priorities were reaching a ceasefire in the Idlib region and preventing the displacement of civilians.

According to the state-run Anadolu news agency, Akar underlined Turkey’s humanitarian efforts in northwestern Syria.

Turkish and Russian officials had a previous round of talks in Moscow which brought no solution to the military situation in the region, where 19 Turkish troops have been killed this month in Syrian government attacks.

“Today is the second day of the talks. We’re hopeful since the talks have resumed,” Akar told reporters at the Turkish parliament.

“We’re expecting a continuation of the terms laid out in the 2018 Sochi accord,” he said, referring to an agreement with Russia to create a demilitarized zone in Idlib.

Moscow accuses Ankara of violating the accord by failing to separate moderate armed rebels from the terrorist groups.

UN officials have said nearly 900,000 Syrians have been displaced since the start of intensified military operations by the Damascus regime in the area.

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