Erdogan to visit Russia in late September
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will visit Russia later this month to meet his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin and discuss the violence in northwestern Syria, Reuters reported on Friday.

 “The main agenda point is Syria, namely Idlib,” a senior Turkish official told the wire service on condition of anonymity. “The conditions set out in the Idlib agreement have not been fully implemented.”

The Idlib agreement refers to the March 2020 agreement reached between Turkey and Russia following weeks of violent fighting in Idlib.

That fighting ended after Turkey launched Operation Spring Shield. In that operation, Turkish artillery and drones pounded Syrian regime ground forces with cross-border strikes in retaliation for a lethal airstrike that had killed 33 Turkish soldiers based in that volatile province.

Today, 18 months later, both Turkey and Russia have complained about repeated violations of the truce.

 “There should not be any new instability in Syria,” the other unnamed Turkish official told Reuters.

Large parts of Idlib are controlled by the Islamist Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) group that has its origins in Al-Qaeda’s Syrian branch Jabhat al-Nusra. Turkey also has troops in Idlib under the framework of the Astana Agreement. Turkish and Russian military convoys jointly patrol parts of the province.

Erdogan will meet Putin in the Russian resort town of Sochi for a two-day visit after he visits the United Nations General Assembly in New York. The dates have not yet been announced.

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