Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem (C) speaks during a conference at Damascus University in Damascus, Syria, on Dec. 17, 2018. Walid al-Moallem said on Monday that the priority of the Syrian government is to liberate Idlib Province, state news agency SANA reported. (Xinhua/Ammar Safarjalani)
DAMASCUS, Dec. 17 (Xinhua) -- Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem said on Monday that the priority of the Syrian government is to liberate Idlib Province, state news agency SANA reported.
There is coordination between Syria and Russia in the efforts to liberate Idlib from the "terrorist groups," al-Moallem said.
His remarks about Idlib come as Turkey, Iran and Russia will soon meet in Geneva to discuss the Syrian issues, including the formation of a constitutional committee.
Turkey and Russia brokered a deal in September to impose a demilitarized zone in Idlib and its surrounding areas. However, violations are still being reported on an almost daily basis.
The extremist groups such as the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, the umbrella group of the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front, refused to withdraw from the zone.
Speaking of the liberation of all Syrian areas, al-Moallem said any independent or federal Kurdish entity in northern Syria is rejected, in a sign that the Syrian government will shift its focus to Kurdish-held areas in northern and northeastern Syria.
The Kurdish self-administration in northern Syria recently urged the Syrian government to respond to the Turkish threats of renewed a military campaign against the Kurdish militia in eastern Syria.
The Syrian Kurds are part of the Syrian social fabric, and the Syrian government is ready to launch dialogues for the interest of the state, al-Moallem said.
The Syrian minister also warned that foreign forces illegally operating in Syira without the permission of the Syrian government should end their occupation, referring to the Turkish and the U.S. forces.