Turkey, Russia agree to set up joint working group for Syria's Idlib

Source: Xinhua| 2019-05-16 04:47:29|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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ANKARA, May 15 (Xinhua) -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin have agreed to form a joint working group on Syria's Idlib issue as soon as possible, Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Wednesday.

In a phone conversation with Putin late on Monday, Erdogan expressed his concern over cease-fire violations in the past two weeks by Syrian government forces in the Idlib de-escalation zone.

There are no direct attacks against Turkish military observation posts in Idlib at the moment, but Ankara has its concerns, Cavusoglu said.

The minister said that the fresh offensives by Syrian government army targeting the rebels' stronghold were harming prospects of establishing a UN-backed committee to draft a new Syrian constitution.

"The regime's aggression on the ground can ruin everything when we made progress in the establishment of the Constitutional Commission," he said.

Russia has long been pressuring Turkey to launch a military offensive against the opposition-held areas, saying that Ankara failed to convince the opposition to retreat out of a buffer zone that agreed on the Sochi deal in September.