Kremlin says Russia, Turkey and Iran may hold meeting on Syria

TASS – The plans of holding a meeting between Russia, Turkey and Iran on Syria are being discussed and the leaders’ schedule is being agreed on, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Tuesday.

“There is no talk about any bilateral contacts now, but the possibility of a multilateral meeting is being considered,” Peskov said, answering a question whether the Russian and Turkish leaders, Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, could meet on March 5.

“Now the presidents’ schedules are being agreed on,” Peskov commented.

The Kremlin spokesman stressed that this format of meeting did not imply the participation of France and Germany.

Peskov underscored that “the decision had not yet been made since not all potential parties had given their consent,” noting that “an effort continued through diplomatic channels.”

A four-way meeting with the participation of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron was not being considered, Peskov pointed out. “No, not at the moment.”

Earlier, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that he hoped to meet “face-to-face” with Putin on March 5 at a four-way summit on Syria.

The situation in Idlib deteriorated dramatically after Russian and Turkish militaries attempted to enforce another ceasefire. Instead, terrorists stepped up their attacks. As a result, military specialists from Russia and Turkey were killed. The Syrian government army took retaliatory actions against extremists and gained control of the city of Saraqib near Idlib on February 5.

In the morning of February 11, the Syrian opposition supported by Turkey launched large-scale attacks on Syrian troops on two fronts — the town of Saraqib and the community of Nayrab situated to the north of Saraqib in Idlib. The opposition’s offensive was carried out with the fire support from the Turkish artillery. Jabhat al-Nusra terrorists (outlawed in Russia) took an active part in the fighting.