Turkey’s Erdogan to meet Putin, Merkel, Macron on March 5 over Syria’s Idlib

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Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday that he will meet with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and France’s Emmanuel Macron on March 5 to discuss the crisis Syria’s Idlib, where a recent push by government forces has displaced nearly a million people.

“I expressed our determination on (Idlib) clearly to (Vladimir) Putin yesterday. I also mentioned it to (Angela) Merkel and (Emmanuel) Macron,” Erdogan said. “On March 5, we will meet with Putin, Macron and Merkel, and we will talk about these again.”

After a series of calls on Friday, the German and French leaders expressed concern about the humanitarian situation in Idlib and urged an end to the conflict, while the Kremlin said it is discussing the possibility of holding a four-way summit.

On Friday, Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron told President Putin they want to meet with him and with President Erdogan to defuse the crisis in Syria, Merkel’s office said.

A months-long offensive by Russia-backed Syrian troops against militants backed by Turkey in northwest Idlib has seen close to one million civilians flee the violence.

The two European Union leaders “expressed their willingness to meet President Putin and Turkish President Erdogan to find a political solution to the crisis,” the chancellor’s office said.

Merkel and Macron “called for the immediate end to the fighting and unfettered humanitarian access to people in need,” their statement said.

Since Syria’s civil war erupted in 2011, the country has never seen so many people displaced in so short a time.
In nine years, millions of civilians have fled their homes and more than 380,000 have been killed.

(With Reuters, AFP)

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