Turkish, Russian foreign ministers meet before Istanbul summit

EPA Photo

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov held bilateral talks as well as a meeting attended by delegations, diplomatic sources said Saturday.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu met on Saturday with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov just ahead of a four-way Istanbul summit on Syria.

Çavuşoğlu and Lavrov held a bilateral and inter-delegation meeting, according to Turkish diplomatic sources who asked not to be named, due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

No further details of the meeting were provided.

The summit on Syria, hosted by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, will see the participation of Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and French President Emmanuel Macron.

Staffan de Mistura, the UN special Syria envoy, will also attend the summit, which will follow a joint statement.

During the summit, the participants will address the Syrian conflict in all its aspects, focusing on the situation on the ground, the Idlib agreement, and the political process, and to harmonize joint efforts to find a lasting solution to the conflict.

The leaders will also discuss the Sept. 17 agreement between Ankara and Moscow to establish a demilitarized zone in Syria's northwestern province of Idlib.

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