At a joint press conference with his German counterpart in Ankara, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said he discussed with Heiko Maas steps to improve ties as well as regional issues and the latest developments in Syria's Idlib.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu shakes hands with his German counterpart Heiko Maas before a news conference in Ankara, Turkey on September 5, 2018.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu shakes hands with his German counterpart Heiko Maas before a news conference in Ankara, Turkey on September 5, 2018. (Reuters)

Turkey and Germany have had a tumultuous time in their bilateral ties but are now working intensely to restore and strengthen relations, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Wednesday.

Speaking at a joint press conference with his German counterpart who is on an official visit to Turkey, Cavusoglu said he has discussed with Heiko Maas steps to improve ties as well as regional issues and the latest developments in Syria's Idlib.

He said bombing the Syrian province of Idlib is wrong and should be stopped and that Ankara was going to push at Friday's planned summit in Tehran for a decision to stop such attacks.

Cavusoglu said a common strategy was required to eliminate terrorist groups in Idlib but the continuation of attacks could be disastrous.

TRT World's Andrew Hopkins brings the latest from Turkey's capital Ankara.

He said Turkey has conveyed to Russia its condemnation of the recent attack in Syria's Idlib.

"After the attack, our institutions [Turkish and Russian] contacted each other. We told them that this is wrong."

Cavusoglu said the attacks are aimed at "capturing Idlib," which he said, "carries a serious risk" and "would be disastrous from many angles."

Russian warplanes on Tuesday pounded civilian and opposition targets in Idlib.

German humanitarian assistance

Germany would consider boosting humanitarian assistance for Syrian refugees in countries neighbouring state in the case of an all-out regime offensive in the northern region of Idlib, said Maas.

"Germany is ready to consider increasing its humanitarian commitment [to Syria] should multi-front battles take place," he said.

Possible regime offensive in Idlib

Located near the Turkish border, Idlib is home to more than 3 million Syrians, many of whom fled from other cities following attacks by regime forces.

The Syrian regime has recently announced plans to launch a major military offensive to the area, which is controlled by various armed opposition groups.

On Tuesday, the UN’s humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock warned that such an offensive would lead to the "worst humanitarian catastrophe in the 21st century."

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani are scheduled to meet in Tehran on Friday for a trilateral summit on Syria.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies