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  • Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan shakes hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin during a joint news conference following their talks on the sidelines of the MAKS-2019 International Aviation and Space Salon in Zhukovsky outside Moscow, Russia, August 27, 2019.

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan shakes hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin during a joint news conference following their talks on the sidelines of the MAKS-2019 International Aviation and Space Salon in Zhukovsky outside Moscow, Russia, August 27, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 27 August 2019

“Together with Turkey’s president we have outlined additional joint steps to neutralize the terrorists’ nests in Idlib and normalize the situation there and in the whole of Syria as a result."

Russian President Vladimir Putin stated on Tuesday that he and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan have outlined the steps needed to ensure peace in Idlib, pointing out the need to root out 'terrorists' from the province. 

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According to Putin, Russia and Turkey will work together to eliminate the terrorist groups that are still operating inside the Idlib province. 

“Together with Turkey’s president we have outlined additional joint steps to neutralize the terrorists’ nests in Idlib and normalize the situation there and in the whole of Syria as a result,” Putin told a joint briefing with Erdogan.

During the meeting, the Russian President also expressed his support for the new safe zone that was established along the Syrian-Turkish border. 

"We understand Turkey’s concern related to ensuring the security of its southern borders, and we think that these are lawful interests of the Republic of Turkey," Putin said. He added that during the talks on Tuesday, Erdogan explained his stance on the issue in detail.

"To our mind, the creation of a security zone on the southern border of the Republic of Turkey will serve as a good precondition for maintaining territorial integrity of Syria itself," the Russian president stressed, noting that Moscow supports de-escalation activity in the area.

Putin, speaking after talks with Erdogan, also said he and the Turkish leader had underlined that Syria should remain a unified country.

Tensions between Turkey and Russia recently increased after the Syrian military launched a large-scale assault across southern Idlib. This offensive would result in the capture of Khan Sheikhoun and several towns inside nothern Hama. 

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