By Elena Teslova
MOSCOW (AA) - Russia and Turkey are preparing for a new round of talks on Idlib, the de-escalation zone in Syria, Russia’s foreign minister said on Monday.
"Now we are preparing another series of consultations, which, we hope, will lead us to an agreement on how to ensure that this is really a de-escalation zone and that the terrorists do not rule there," Sergey Lavrov told reporters in Moscow.
“I hope that the ongoing contacts between our military and the Turkish military, with the participation of diplomats and security services, will end positively, and we will be able to make sure that terrorists do not take over this part of Syria, as, in fact, they should not take over anywhere else," he said.
Syria has been mired in a vicious civil war since early 2011 when the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests.
Idlib, near Turkey's southern border, falls within a de-escalation zone laid out in a deal between Ankara and Moscow in late 2018.
Some one million Idlib refugees have moved towards the Turkish border in recent months, fleeing attacks by the Assad regime and its allies which caused a desperate humanitarian situation.
Turkey has called for an immediate halt to the attacks on Idlib, and for the cease-fire to be followed, warning that if the attacks do not stop, it will take action.