Russia, Turkey agree on ceasefire in Syria’s Idlib
Russia and Turkey agreed Thursday on a ceasefire in the de-escalation zone in Syria’s northwestern province of Idlib, after talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan which lasted for about six hours.
The ceasefire becomes effective from 00:01 on Friday, according to the protocol read after the talks by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
Russia and Turkey also agreed to create a safety corridor 6 km to the north and 6 km to the south from the strategic M4 highway, which connects Aleppo in northern Syria with Latakia in the northwest.
Concrete parameters of the functioning of the safety corridor will be agreed on between Russian and Turkish defense ministries within seven days, the protocol said.
Russia and Turkey will begin joint patrolling of the M4 highway on March 15, 2020, said the protocol signed by the two countries’ defense ministers.
According to the protocol, Russia and Turkey confirmed their fidelity to maintenance of the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Syria.
They also confirmed their determination to fight against all manifestations of terrorism and to destroy all the terrorist groups, recognized as such by the United Nations Security Council.
The parties stressed that the Syrian conflict has no military solution and must be settled by a political process led and implemented by the Syrians themselves with an assistance of the United Nations in accordance with the Resolution 2254 of its Security Council.
Russia and Turkey underlined the importance of further improvement of the humanitarian situation of the Syrians, provision of humanitarian assistance to all needy without advancing preliminary conditions and discrimination, as well as preventing forced transfer of people and contributing to safe and voluntary return of the refugees and internally displaced persons to places of their permanent residence in Syria, the protocol said.