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Turkey, Russia near Syria deal

A Turkish miltary convoy is pictured in Kilis near the Turkish-Syrian border, Turkey, October 9, 2019. Mehmet Ali Dag/ Ihlas News Agency (IHA) via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVE. TURKEY OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN TURKEY.

ANKARA: Talks between Turkish and Russian officials on developments in northeast Syria have concluded and the two delegations have “largely” reached an agreement, Turkish Defence Minister HulusiAkar was quoted as saying by state media on Wednesday.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said Russia had informed Turkey that the Syrian Kurdish YPG had left a planned “safe zone” within a deadline set by Ankara and Moscow. Under their agreement, Russia and Turkey were then due to start joint patrols.

“Inter-delegation talks with Russia were concluded a short while ago. An agreement was largely reached. Our efforts continue in a mutually constructive, understanding way,” Akar was quoted as saying by the state-run Anadolu news agency.

Meanwhile, Foreign ministers of Turkey, Iran and Russia have welcomed the upcoming launch of the Syrian Constitutional Committee. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told a joint press conference that the launch of the Committee showed that there is no military solution for the Syrian conflict.

The three foreign ministers also confirmed their full adherence to the territorial integrity of Syria and expressed their stance to dismantle terrorism in all its manifestations in the country, he said.

“We emphasized the importance of the need to deal with humanitarian issues throughout the whole territory, and we emphasized the need to establish the environment conducive to the return of refugees and internally displaced people,” the Turkish foreign minister noted. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that the three ministers on Tuesday discussed in detail with the UN Special Envoy for Syria, Geir Pedersen, and their main topic was the work of the Syrian Constitutional Committee.

“It took quite a lot of time and a lot of difficulties to come to this very important event, it is our common view and conviction that this is our huge joint victory,” Lavrov said.

He told journalists that they have emphasized that the most fundamental thing for the Syrian peace process is to ensure the implementation of UN resolution 2254, to ensure the political process will be carried out by the Syrians themselves and all the external stakeholders should create the most conducive environment for it.

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said at the press conference that priority to end the Syrian conflict has been always the facilitation of a viable political solution, stressing that “the Committee will have our full support.”

He added that if the smooth functioning of the Committee can be ensured, the Committee may pave the way for a comprehensive political process in Syria, which is the only way to establish lasting peace, stability and security there.

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